National Lottery


National Lottery Revision: Many people feel that the current format of the National Lottery leaves a lot to be desired and in fact, that it could be bettered considerably. The idea is to improve the chances of people winning still very sizeable amounts of money and so persuade people that the lottery is actually worth doing by gearing it to substantially benefit as many people as possible.


Cheated By The Rollover: Contrary to Camelot's viewpoint, many people feel that rollovers do not mean more money and more excitement! They just mean that people were stitched up the week before because nobody won anything.


Benefit More People: Many people also believe that it is wrong to give so much money to just one person when so many more people could benefit substantially. The odds of winning something substantial are currently fourteen million to one. Our aim would be to see this figure reduced considerably by reducing the number of numbers, or the number of balls, and sharing the prize money between the winning, and closest to winning, tickets, pegging the maximum prize to perhaps a million pounds for the outright winners and sharing any money left over between the then closest. If there are no outright winners the money gets divided between the then closest winning tickets. You can see what Camelot have previously had to say about this from the following correspondence.


Correspondence with Camelot Regarding Ideas for a Different Lottery Format.


A suggestion to implement a revised strategy by abolishing the 'rollover' and guaranteeing certain winners every week.

Letter 01

REQUEST FOR THE ABOLISHMENT OF THE ROLLOVER
AND THE INSTITUTION OF A REVISED STRATEGY

08/08/02

Dear Sir or Madam,

We are writing to suggest the abolishment of the current 'rollover' in favour of awarding the jackpot (when there is no clear winner), to the nearest combination(s) of winning numbers drawn on the night, or similar. There are several reasons as to why we feel this would be better in principle, not least of all, it would guarantee at least one winner from every draw. It would also mean that lottery winnings would be more widely and fairly distributed. We feel that it would be better in principle to encourage more winners of smaller amounts, rather than fewer winners of larger amounts. To this end we feel that it would also be worth considering limiting the payout for winners to a million pounds and sharing the rest of the allotted prize money between people with the then closest combination of numbers. Perhaps even shortening the odds by having one less ball or fewer numbers. The reason for this is that a million pounds is a very significant amount of money and enough to change a person's life for the better. There is no real need to want more when this additional prize money could then significantly benefit many others. Even a million pounds shared between a syndicate of ten gives each member a hundred thousand pounds each, still a very sizeable and life changing amount of money.

Everybody knows that at the moment National Lottery odds are very long and the chance of winning is minutely small. By having one less ball, or fewer numbers, for arguments sake, abolishing the rollover, and limiting the maximum payout, it will be possible to create many more winners of smaller, but nevertheless, still very sizeable amounts of money. We would promote this in principle as many more people could then benefit from the National Lottery and we feel that a change in the system, in favour of shortening the odds, would also make the national lottery much more attractive and encourage more people to participate, as they would then feel that there is a much better chance of winning something sizeable. Most people would agree that it would be better to give seven people a million pounds each than one person seven million pounds, and most people would agree that it would be better to give seventy people a hundred thousand pounds each than one person seven million, especially if they were included in that number of seventy, whereas otherwise they would have got nothing.

Many people have currently been disillusioned with the National Lottery and share a now common view that the lottery is not worth doing because there is too little chance of winning. Although the inclusion of a rollover may attract more people when a rollover occurs, it also causes a sense of disappointment and futility when nobody wins. This sense of futility can make people feel even more so that there is little point in doing the lottery, again, because there is so little chance of winning. How many more people would do the lottery on a regular basis if there was a much more realistic chance of winning a sizeable and useful amount of money on every occasion, without fail? A change in favour of the above, we feel, would perhaps give the lottery a new lease of life and win many people back. It would certainly help many more people out and reward them for supporting the lottery. We hope that you can therefore give the above some serious consideration and we will be interested in your conclusions. Thank you.


SUMMARY OF SUGGESTIONS FOR A REVISED STRATEGY FOR THE NATIONAL LOTTERY

1). Abolish the rollover so that there is always at least one winner from every draw. The rollover is a negative element, leaving people with the impression that the lottery was not worth doing because nobody won the prize money. Guaranteeing a winner every time, by awarding the prize money to the nearest combinations of winning numbers, will restore faith for people and make the lottery more attractive.

2). Peg the maximum prize for one individual winning ticket to a million pounds so that many more people can win significant and life-changing amounts of money. Sharing the rest of the allotted prize money to the tickets with the then closest combination of winning numbers will benefit many more people and again make the lottery more attractive to people as a consequence.

3). Reduce the odds by having one less ball, or alternatively fewer numbers. Creating more winners and more chance for people to win sizeable, life-changing amounts of money, also making the lottery more attractive to people. By encouraging more winners of smaller, but still very sizeable amounts of money, many more people would benefit and the national lottery would become more attractive.


A reply from Camelot stating that the suggested ideas have already been considered and rejected.

Letter 01 Reply

15/08/02

Dear Mr Tarrant

Thank you for your letter of 8 August 2002 and for your interesting idea in respect to The National Lottery.

Whilst your idea is an interesting one, it is unfortunately, one which has already been considered by us. It is with deep regret therefore that we will not be able to progress your submission any further.

I know this letter will be disappointing to you, but thank you nevertheless for writing to us with your idea and for your interest in The National Lottery.

If you do have any other ideas for the Lottery please do not hesitate to forward them to myself.

Yours sincerely

David Pendry
Legal Executive


Asking for more clarification and detail as to which of the three ideas suggested had already been considered.

Letter 02

RE: REQUEST FOR A REVISED STRATEGY FOR THE NATIONAL LOTTERY

02/07/02

Dear Mr Pendry,

Thank you for your letter dated 15/08/02 in response to our letter dated 08/08/02.

However, as the response was not very detailed and lacked any real explanation, we wonder if you would be so kind as to clarify which of the three ideas have already been considered and the reasons as the why they were dismissed? We enclose a copy of the previous letter, detailing the suggestions, in case you no longer have the original. We are interested in the reasoning behind the decisions and also the current format of the national lottery because, according to our enquiries, the ideas, as put forward in our previous letter, appear to be indicative of public opinion. Could you, therefore, also please indicate as to whether or not you feel that the public would be entitled to have a say in the format of the national lottery and whether or not you are aware of public feeling in this area?

Many people do not agree with disproportionate wealth distribution. The current policy of the national lottery is tending to promote this, and where as the 'reward' could be more fairly distributed and benefit many more people, the current policy does not allow this unless people are able to be part of a syndicate. With a revised strategy, as suggested, people would get all the benefits of being part of a syndicate (reduced odds and a better chance of winning something substantial for the same amount of input), without having to be part of a syndicate. As not everybody is able to be part of a syndicate, and as most people would be more than happy to win a hundred thousand to a million pounds, this would be better in principle for most, if not all, people. Most people think that the amount of money given to a single winning ticket at the moment is too much. Some amounts are simply obscene. The inclusion of a rollover strategy makes this worse and means that people are losing out on potential winnings. We are bringing this to the attention of Camelot and reiterate that most people, if not all, are in favour of a revised strategy, as put forward.

We are, therefore, very interested in whether Camelot feels that it would want to support the wishes of the people that do the lottery every week, or whether you feel that there is good reason not to. Or in fact, does Camelot feel that this revised strategy would not be popular amongst the general public? If you feel that there is doubt, but you are genuinely interested in supporting the wishes of the general public, perhaps Camelot could commission its own survey? In the mean time, we look forward to receiving your analysis of the points that we have raised and your explanations as to why the proposed ideas were rejected so that we can evaluate them for ourselves. Thank you.

Yours faithfully,

D.J. Tarrant

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