Raised minimum age to play the National Lottery comes into effect on 22 April 2021

In December 2020, we reported the UK Government’s decision to raise the minimum age for playing the National Lottery from 16 to 18 from no later than October 2021.

It has now been confirmed that the above change will come into force on 22 April 2021. An announcement to this effect on the National Lottery website states as follows:

An important change is coming

From 22nd April 2021, players must be 18 or over to play National Lottery games. This is in line with the government’s decision to raise the legal minimum age of play, which we fully support. This applies to playing online and in a store.

Any tickets bought in line with the relevant Rules and Procedures before 22nd April 2021 are still valid and prizes can be claimed during the relevant claim period.

It goes on to list the 15 FAQs, the first of which states:

When will the age of play change come into effect?

This change comes into effect on 22nd April 2021. From this date, those under the age of 18 will no longer be able to play National Lottery games online, on the National Lottery app or in a retail store.

Customers who are aged 16 or over but under the age of 18 on 22nd April 2021, and who have an existing National Lottery account, will be unable to play any National Lottery games and will not be able to add funds to their account. However, they will be able to access their National Lottery account until 30th November 2021 in order to check results, review transactions, claim prizes, update their details and withdraw funds.

The remaining FAQs are as follows:

  • I am under 18, will I still be able to access my account?
  • Does this change apply to draw games, Instant Win Games and Scratchcards?
  • Can under-18s still buy tickets in a shop?
  • I run a syndicate – how does this affect me?
  • I am under 18, will I still be able to claim a prize?
  • I am under 18, will I still be able to amend my card details for claims?
  • What if I turn 18 before my account is closed?
  • If I set up a new account in the future how can I prove I am 18?
  • If I am under 18 what happens to my Direct Debit?
  • I am over 18, will I be affected at all?
  • Will my FastPay card still be valid?
  • Will my play slip still be valid?
  • Why does the back of my Scratchcard say you have to be 18 plus when the current age limit is 16 plus?
  • What happens if I win a Lotto Match 2 prize after 22nd April 2021?

Answers may be found by clicking on the relevant question on the National Lottery website here.