Lottery ticket price doubles in first hike since 1994

The price of a ticket to play the National Lottery has been increased from £1 to £2, in order to fund bigger prizes and increasing philanthropic activity.

The cost of a ticket has been falling in real terms since its launch - if hikes had matched inflation a ticket would now cost a £1.67. At present six million people buy a ticket each week.

Now winners who match three numbers will receive £25 rather than £10, and those scoring four matching digits will get £100 instead of £60. But you'll receive less for matching more numbers - with five you'll be able to cash in a ticket for just £500 (from £1,000) and five with the bonus ball will net you £50,000 (from £100,000).

Thankfully for Bank of England governor Mark Carney, gambling doesn't make it into the statiscian's basket of goods when calculating inflation.

State controlled price increases such as those on tuition fees and government imposed costs on energy bills already account for much of the consumer price index - going some way to explaining why it is so far above target.