How does the Set For Life Lottery work?

It’s a bit of an understatement to say that The National Lottery runs some popular games. Almost half of the UK's adult population takes part in at least one of them regularly. Those aged 45-64 are most likely to compete, with 54% reporting playing within the last year.

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How does the Set For Life Lottery work?
  • Lotteries are a popular means of getting your hands on instant wealth, as well as charity fundraisers.
  • One lottery offers the jackpot winner £10,000 every month for 30 years, thereby being Set For Life.
  • Tickets are widely available and the draw takes place twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays.
  • At 15 million to one, the odds of winning Set For Life are much better than winning the Lotto jackpot.

Set For Life Lottery: FAQs

  • What is Set For Life?

    It’s a National Lottery game wherein players pick their Set For Life numbers, comprising five main and one life number. Once the draw results are announced (every Monday and Thursday), winning numbers can net a prize of from £5 all the way up to £10,000 per month for 30 years.

  • Where can you buy Set For Life tickets?

    You can get tickets from the National Lottery Set For Life website and from a huge range of authorised National Lottery dealers throughout England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Shops where you can buy them include the 5,000 UK Post Offices, chains such as Spar and One-Stop, and countless independent stores.

  • Is the top prize tax free?

    Amazingly, yes (in most cases). The organisers have designed it so that the money is paid to the winner after tax, regardless of tax bracket. Not only that but also included in the prize is a free session with an independent financial advisor. Sudden influxes of wealth can be more challenging than you’d think, so this can be a great help.

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Remember the easy days when there was just one lottery? The ad with a big finger pointing at some slightly scared-looking bloke with a deep echoey It’s you! intoning over the top? Yes, notes of impending doom aside, it was a simpler time. 

Nowadays, there’s choice in abundance. Anyone wanting to place their future prosperity in the lap of the gods, or just have a mildly exciting diversion for a few minutes a week has no end of different lotteries to pick from. 

Among these, Set For Life sounds like an attractive proposition, even if it’s just a nice name. The idea of being set for life does have a ring to it. But what does it involve? What do you do? When do you do it? And how can you be certain to win at it? (That last one is a genuine question: we’re interested to know. Answers in the comments section, please.)

Who runs Set For Life?

The National Lottery runs set For Life, so we can see straight away that we’re in safe hands. The National Lottery (owned and run by Camelot) is an established player, making dreams come true here in the UK since 1994. Since that time, it has delivered life-changing effects for a whole bunch of UK residents. 

That sounds a little ho-hum, so let’s put it another way. The National Lottery makes, on average, seven people millionaires every week. So that means that since its inception, it’s likely to have made a total of over 10,000 millionaires. That’s extraordinary. Like if every resident of Stranraer or Caenarfon was suddenly given a million pounds. Or Glastonbury (the town, not the festival).

On top of that, of course, the National Lottery has for almost 30 years been busily making a difference in all kinds of charitable enterprises all over the country, from Lewes to Liverpool and beyond. 

So, the National Lottery knows what it’s about. We can be confident that Set For Life is reputable. But what is it?

What is Set For Life?

The big thing with Set For Life is that you can win a whopping £10,000 a month for 30 years. Maths wizards among you (as well as those, like me, who have a much-used calculator app) will have already worked out that this amounts to a colossal £3,600,000. 

Win that, and you’re - oh, what’s the expression? Oh yes, set for life. Able even to consider buying a small shed down Sandbanks way. Quids in. 

Anyway, that’s the jackpot prize. As well as this top prize, there’s a prize breakdown as follows. On offer there’s £10,000 every month for a year, then a range of prizes going from £250 down to a fiver. 

What do you do to enter?

Set For Life is drawn twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays. You can play Set For Life by going on the National Lottery site and picking your numbers. These consist of two lots - your main numbers, which are five numbers you pick from 1 to 47. Then, you pick your life ball number, which is from 1 to 10. 

Enter your numbers on the site, and choose which draw days you want to go for. You’re not limited to one entry - you can have up to seven lines of numbers and up to ten pay slips at a time. You can also get ahead of the game (literally) by buying up to four weeks in advance. 

Then, when the draw has taken place, you can see the Set For Life results via the app on your smartphone or the Set For Life website. 

Or, if you love to see the big reveal as it takes place, you can watch the draw live on the website or YouTube every Monday and Thursday at 8pm. That’s entertainment. It certainly used to be widely considered so - not so long ago the lottery results formed the centrepiece of the BBC’s evening schedule. 

Not now. Now, room has had to be made for various celebrities only they themselves have heard of, doing a succession of vacuous and mind-numbing activities over and over again. OK, rant over. 

What are the chances of winning Set For Life?

This is the big question, isn’t it? Aside from how much is it to enter? (£1.50 is the answer to this one.)

To give us some context in the first place, the odds of winning a massive mega millions type prize with Lotto is thought to be about 45 million to one. The odds of winning the Set For Life big one are a little easier on the eye, at around one in 15 million. 

When it comes to how likely you are to win any prize come draw date, things look decidedly rosier at approximately fifteen to one, albeit without the much-missed William G. Stewart. 

Is Set For Life a good bet?

It’s down to you to decide whether you think the Set For Life draw is worth entering. Different lotteries suit different people, and while some choose Euromillions every time, others are interested solely in the Lotto results. Or, if you’re a certain big-voiced singer from Wales, it’s not unusual to find you glued to Thunderball. (James Bond theme gag alert.)

Whichever you choose, we hope that, come the next draw, your lottery numbers bring you nothing but good luck!

Image Credit: Alejandro Garay at Unsplash

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