National Lottery creates a record 347 millionaires in 2016

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A record number of National Lottery players became millionaires over the last year, operator Camelot said.

Some 347 players received cheques for £1 million or more in 2016, up from 341 in 2015, sharing £862 million.

Lotto's highest jackpot of £66 million on January 9 was shared by two ticket-holders, David and Carol Martin, from the Scottish Borders, and another who opted to remain anonymous.

In April a single anonymous ticket-holder scooped an entire £35 million jackpot, while the largest winner this year was the Davies family syndicate from Monmouth, who shared a EuroMillions jackpot of £61 million in July.

The wins follow controversial changes to Lotto that came into effect in October 2015 which saw the number of balls increase from 49 to 59 and the chance of winning the jackpot decrease from one in 14 million to one in 45 million.

The changes introduced a new Millionaire Raffle guaranteeing at least one millionaire per draw.

Meanwhile, changes to EuroMillions in September saw a 50p increase per line to £2.50 and the introduction of a new Lucky Star number that lowered the chance of winning the jackpot from one in 117 million to one in 140 million.

Senior winners' adviser Andy Carter said: "It has been a record-breaking 12 months with more millionaires celebrating with a giant cheque than ever before. The National Lottery changes lives, not just of the winners but also for the projects that receive support.

"Thank you to everybody who bought a ticket or scratchcard in 2016 as they have helped to win Olympic medals and support local communities."

Drivers were the luckiest profession this year, with cabbies and lorry drivers winning more £1 million-plus prizes, beating the traditionally luckiest building profession into second place.

Manufacturing and sales workers were in joint third position, followed by teachers.

The record month this year was September, when 53 players across all National Lottery game, including GameStore online games and scratchcards, became millionaires.

The total given to good causes across the country increased to £36 billion.