It is operated by Camelot Group, to whom the licence was granted in 1994, 2001 and again in 2007. The lottery is regulated by the National Lottery Commission, and was established by the then prime minister John Major in 1994.
All prizes are paid as a lump sum and are tax-free. Of all money spent on National Lottery games, 50% goes to the prize fund, 28% to 'good causes' as set out by Parliament (though some of this is considered by some to be a stealth tax levied to support the Big Lottery Fund, a fund constituted to support public spending ), 12% to the UK Government as duty, 5% to retailers as commission, and a total of 5% to operator Camelot, with 4.5% to cover operating costs and 0.5% as profit. Lottery tickets and scratch cards may be bought only by people of at least 16 years of age.