Punters complain lottery has become too hard to win

Lott players are annoyed with

There's a chance to win a staggering £15.7 million jackpot in the National Lottery tomorrow - but many punters aren't happy about it at all.

The huge prize is only available because of a series of six rollovers that left Saturday's £14.4 million jackpot unclaimed. And some regular players are now complaining that it's become too difficult to win.

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A Facebook group calling for the number of balls to be reduced from 59 back to 49 has attracted 558 members, many of whom say they have now switched to the Postcode Lottery instead.

"Following the, in my opinion, crackpot decision to increase the number pool from 49 to 59, surprise, surprise, we are faced with repetitive roll-overs which are becoming obscene," says Dave Jacombs, who has started a petition to the government on the topic.

"I advocate that all right-thinking people boycott The Lottery until the stake is restored to £1 per entry, the numbers are reverted to 49, the prize distribution is rationalised, and the roll-over is either abolished or limited to two or three draws."

When this point is reached, he suggests, the prize money should cascade down in a similar way to the football pools, where all available prize money is paid out for each draw.

Further infuriating punters is the fact that the National Lottery website crashed on Saturday two hours before 7.30pm deadline, leaving many people unable to buy tickets online.

The crash was caused by hackers, who overloaded the system using what's known as a DDoS attack.

"We're very sorry that many players are currently unable to access The National Lottery website or app. Our 46,000 retailers are unaffected," it said on Twitter. "Please accept our sincere apologies if you were unable to play tonight's games due to the website issue that affected many players."

However, some say that the National Lottery should have been better prepared.

"The motive for the DDoS attack remains a mystery, and we don't know if someone was attempting to blackmail the National Lottery – certainly other gambling sites have often been targeted in the past – by using the threat of bring the website down," says security expert Graham Cluley.

"One would expect the likes of the UK National Lottery to be aware that they were a potential target for attack, and have systems in place to reduce the opportunities for attackers to disrupt services through a DDoS attacks, but clearly their defences weren't enough to entirely deflect the assault on this occasion."

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Biggest UK lottery winners
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Biggest UK lottery winners

Colin and Chris Weir, from Largs in Ayrshire scooped 161 million in the EuroMillions draw after several rollovers in 2011. They are the biggest British lottery winners in history.

Adrian Bayford, who won an astonishing £148m on the Euromillions with his wife Gillian, had to shut up the music shop he owns, because people targeted it with requests for money.
One British ticket won  £113,019,926 in October 2010 but decided not to go public.
Car mechanic and racing driver Neil Trotter scooped a staggering £107.9 million jackpot on the Euromillions lottery in March 2014.
Dave and Angela Dawes won £101 million on the EuroMillions in 2011. It was only the third time the couple, from Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, had played the lottery. The couple are said to have since split up.
The sum was won in May 2010 but the winner kept their identity a secret.
One lucky British ticket-holder picked up a £81million EuroMillions rollover but remained anonymous.

Nigel Page and Justine Laycock from Cirencester bagged a £56 million jackpot back in February 2011. On winning the jackpot, Page said: 'I'd already checked my National Lottery account and had seen I'd won £55 on Lotto when I decided to buy two Lucky Dips for the big EuroMillions jackpot on Friday.'

One lucky winner won shy of 50 million but chose to remain anonymous.

Les and Sam Scadding from Newport, South Wales, and a syndicate of seven Liverpudlian call-centre workers shared a staggering £91 million in November 2009. Les, an unemployed mechanic, was £68 overdrawn on the day he bought his ticket, while the Liverpool syndicate only started playing EuroMillions together four months before their win.

Carrington, 22, from Stapleford in Nottingham, banked £45 million after matching all five numbers and two Lucky Stars in a EuroMillions draw in February 2012. The Iceland supervisor said she planned to marry painter fiancee Matt Topham, 22, following the Lucky Dip win.

Husband and wife Gareth and Catherine Bull have fairly modest spending plans despite their £40.6 million jackpot win in January. Speaking about what she planned to do now that she was rich, Catherine explained that she intended to use part of their winnings to replace the carpet on her upstairs landing...

Angela Kelly became one of the biggest lottery winners in UK history back in 2007, after scooping a £35 million EuroMillions jackpot. This is estimated to earn £5,000 a day in interest alone, meaning she's unlikely to ever be short of cash.

In June 2009, 74-year-old Brian Caswell got the surprise of his life when he took his lottery ticket to his local newsagent and discovered he'd won almost £25 million.

Belfast housewife Iris Jeffrey, 58, was the lucky holder of the record 20.1 million rollover lottery winning ticket back in 2004.

Jeffrey, 58, a cancer sufferer, only realised three weeks after the draw took place that she had won the  jackpot after organisers Camelot pleaded for the person holding the prize ticket to come forward and claim the prize.

Stephen Smith and his wife Ida from Hemel Hempstead, Herts, won nearly 19 million in the National Lottery. Mr Smith said he would give up his winnings if he could have his health and the chance to live a longer life with his wife.
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