It has been a lucky year for lottery players, with a record number of millionaires created in 2010.
The numbers came up for 158 winners, allowing them membership of the exclusive millionaire’s club – an increase of 26 on 2009, according to the National lotteries figures.
Jackpot prizes added up to ?775m, the highest amount ever paid out in one year, and up ?285m on 2009.
A one-off Millionaire Raffle draw on Christmas Eve created 25 millionaires, but 10 are still not aware of their windfall. So far, only 15 of the 25 ticket-holders have come forward to claim their ?1m prize, a spokesman said.
“This has been an extraordinary year for our players with so many new millionaires and multimillionaires created,” he added.
“There have been some huge prizes paid out during the last 12 months, and we’ve also been told that many of our big winners have created additional millionaires themselves as a result of their win, which is fantastic news.”
In October, the National Lottery hit the landmark of 2,500 millionaires created since its launch 16 years ago.
Other lottery records have also been broken in what has been regarded as an unprecedented year.
In February, Nigel and Justine Page, from Gloucestershire, scooped the ?56m jackpot prize on EuroMillions.
The win was then followed by two even bigger payouts, one of ?84m in May and then one of ?113m in October. Both of those ticket-holders opted to remain anonymous.
Other big winners included George Sturt and his family, from Dorking, Surrey, who collected ?26m between them, and a ?39.7m ticket-holder who remained anonymous.
August saw the highest number of millionaires created when 19 people joined the club, while October saw the highest amount of prize money paid out, totalling more than ?167m.
Only 89 major prizes became classed as unclaimed in 2010, meaning that nobody had come forward to claim them two weeks after the draw.
A good way to ensure your winnings never go unclaimed is to play online, direct to the national lottery site, or as part of a syndicate.
But 54 prizes were subsequently reunited with the winner within the 180-day deadline, the largest of which was a ?5.6m jackpot in the Port Talbot area of south Wales.
Of the remaining prizes, 15 went over the 180-day deadline and were added to the ?25bn raised for good causes by the National Lottery, while 20 remain still available to claim.
To increase your chances of winning the lottery, why not play as part of a syndicate, the National lottery say 1 in 4 wins are calimed by syndicates.
The newest syndicate online is LoveMyLotto.