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Odds of Winning Set For Life

Set For Life offers eight different prize tiers, including two annuity prizes, one of which is paid out over a period of 30 years. The table below has details of all the prizes you can win when playing Set For Life, as well as the odds of winning each.

Match Prize Odds
5 + Life Ball ВЈ10,000 every month for 30 years 1 in 15,339,390
5 ВЈ10,000 every month for 1 year 1 in 1,704,377
4 + Life Ball ВЈ250 1 in 73,045
4 ВЈ50 1 in 8,116
3 + Life Ball ВЈ30 1 in 1,782
3 ВЈ20 1 in 198
2 + Life Ball ВЈ10 1 in 134
2 ВЈ5 1 in 15
The overall odds of winning any Set For Life prize are 1 in 12.4

All prizes are fixed amounts. In exceptional circumstances, the value of the two annuity prizes may be capped.

An estimated 54 percent of the revenue from Set for Life ticket sales will be used to fund prizes, although this will differ slightly between draws depending on the number of total winners there are. If the top prize is not won in any given draw it will not roll over to the following one.

Annuity Prizes

The top two Set for Life prizes – won by matching five numbers plus the Life Ball, or five numbers alone – differ from the others in that they are paid out gradually over a period of time, instead of in one lump sum payment. The top prize pays out £10,000 every month for 30 years, totalling £3.6 million, while the second prize pays £10,000 every month for one year, for a total of £120,000. There is no option to take a lump sum instead of the annuity payments.

Like any other UK lottery prizes, the annuities are tax free. If the winner of an annuity prize should die before all the payments are made, the balance of the remaining payments will be made to their estate.

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View the odds of winning Set For Life in all eight prize tiers, ranging from £5 up to £10,000 every month for 30 years.

Set For Life: Odds of Winning a Prize

Set For Life is the UK National Lottery’s only annuity game, offering prizes that pay out regular sums over a set period of time, rather than big one-off payments. The top prize is not shared, so it’s possible that multiple players could win monthly payments of ВЈ10,000 for 30 years in the same draw.

Prize Breakdown and Odds

All Set For Life prizes are fixed amounts, so you are guaranteed to win the advertised prize money unless prize capping comes into play. You can view a complete Set For Life prize breakdown in the table below, as well as the odds of winning each prize.

Tier Prize Amount Odds of Winning
Match 5 + Life Ball ВЈ10,000 per month for 30 years 1 in 15,339,390
Match 5 ВЈ10,000 per month for 1 year 1 in 1,704,377
Match 4 + Life Ball ВЈ250 1 in 73,045
Match 4 ВЈ50 1 in 8,116
Match 3 + Life Ball ВЈ30 1 in 1,782
Match 3 ВЈ20 1 in 198
Match 2 + Life Ball ВЈ10 1 in 134
Match 2 ВЈ5 1 in 15
Overall odds of winning a prize: 1 in 12.4

In Super Chance draws, you can win £10,000 a month for 30 years for matching just five numbers without the Life Ball. In those special events, that prize replaces the usual second prize of £10,000 per month for a year – you still win the usual top prize if you match five plus the Life Ball.

Prize Capping in Set For Life Draws

Set For Life prizes may be capped if there is an unusually high number of winners in a particular draw, and in that instance winners may receive less than the advertised prize amounts. These rules differ depending on the prize tier:

Match 5 + Life Ball

In each Set For Life draw there is a total of ВЈ16 million available to pay out winners of the top prize. Under ordinary circumstances, each top prize winner receives a total of ВЈ3.6 million over the course of the 30-year annuity. That means there can be a maximum of four top prize winners in a single draw without prize capping being activated.

If there are five or more top prize winners in one draw, prize capping will be needed. In that scenario, the ВЈ16 million prize fund is split equally between all of the winners and each has the option of taking the payout as a lump sum or as an annuity. The annuity would still be paid out over 30 years but the monthly payments would be less than the advertised ВЈ10,000.

Match 5

The prize fund for the Match 5 prize is capped at ВЈ2 million in each draw. As each winner receives a total of ВЈ120,000 over the course of the year-long annuity, there can be a total of 16 winners in a single draw without prize capping being triggered.

If there are more than 16 Match 5 winners in a single draw, the capped prize fund of ВЈ2 million will be split equally between them. Winners do not get a choice of taking the prize money as a lump sum. It will be paid out as an annuity over a year-long period, but the monthly payments will be less than the advertised ВЈ10,000.

Match 3 to Match 4 + Life Ball

The total prize fund available to pay out prizes in all but the top two tiers is equal to 35.94% of the revenue from ticket sales, plus a fixed amount of ВЈ1 million. If this sum is not enough to pay out the advertised prizes to all winners in the Match 2 to Match 4 + Life Ball tiers, the capped prize fund will be divided between them in increments. The table below shows how the money is divided.

Payout stage From prize tier To prize tier Payout Total per winner
1. First payout Match 2 Match 4 + Life Ball ВЈ5 ВЈ5
2. If there are funds remaining Match 2 + Life Ball Match 4 + Life Ball + ВЈ5 ВЈ10
3. If there are funds remaining Match 3 Match 4 + Life Ball + ВЈ10 ВЈ20
4. If there are funds remaining Match 3 + Life Ball Match 4 + Life Ball + ВЈ10 ВЈ30
5. If there are funds remaining Match 4 Match 4 + Life Ball + ВЈ20 ВЈ50
6. If there are funds remaining Match 4 + Life Ball Match 4 + Life Ball + remainder ВЈ50+

Firstly, all winners in the Match 2 to Match 4 + Life Ball tiers receive £5. If there are funds remaining, all winners in the Match 2 + Life Ball to Match 4 + Life Ball tiers will receive an additional £5, so their total payout would be £10. This continues, moving up the prize tiers according to the splits above, until the funds run out. This is all calculated before the money is paid, so winners will just receive one payment for the total amount they’re due.

Note: Although Match 2 prizes are factored into the prize fund calculations, they’re not actually capped because the prize amount in that tier is £5 with or without the activation of prize capping.

How Set For Life’s Annuity Prizes Work

The money that’s used to fund the regular annuity payments is only held by Camelot until the winning ticket has been validated and the annuity has been set up. From that point, the payments are managed by a third-party.

About the annuity policy

Camelot pays the prize money into an investment policy designed to yield the required amounts of money periodically over the term of the annuity. This policy is managed by a third-party broker, who is responsible for ensuring that the payments are made on time and in full. It is with this broker that you will deal with after the annuity has been set up.

The National Lottery will provide guidance at every step, but it also recommends that you hire a financial advisor to help you understand and manage the process.

Setting up the policy

After you have made the claim for one of Set For Life’s top two prizes, a validation meeting will take place, part of which will involve setting up the annuity policy.

A representative of the National Lottery will attend this meeting to validate the winning ticket. A broker from the annuity provider will also attend to set up the policy. You will have some forms to fill in and sign, such as a National Lottery prize claim form and documents relating to the annuity policy. Winners under 18 years of age will need a parent or guardian to countersign some of the forms.

Once that’s all done, the necessary steps will be taken to set up the annuity payments. Camelot advises that it will aim to ensure that the policy is set up within four weeks from the validation meeting.

Paying taxes

All National Lottery prizes are tax free, so you are always guaranteed to receive the advertised jackpot amount. The same goes for Set For Life’s annuity prizes; the National Lottery ensures that you will receive the advertised prizes of £10,000 per month for one year or 30 years.

Note: The annuity policies taken out to pay the two top prizes comprise of a capital amount (the money paid into the policy) and the interest that accrues over the course of the policy. The capital part is not subject to tax, but the interest is. However, Camelot ensures that these policies are set up so you receive the advertised amounts into your bank account after tax has been deducted.

Receiving the prize money

The first prize payment will be made to you soon after the validation meeting has taken place and all the necessary checks have been completed. The payment will be made by cheque or bank transfer.

The other payments will then be made every month thereafter for the term of the annuity. The exact dates on which the money will be paid to you will be confirmed during or after the validation meeting.

If you die before all of the annuity payments have been made, the outstanding balance of the annuity policy will be paid to your estate as a lump sum.

There are eight different Set For Life prizes on offer in every draw, ranging from ВЈ5 to the top prize. View the odds of winning each prize here.