I’ve played the National Lottery since it began nearly 25 years ago. Indeed I went to its launch at the Tower of London; I still remember it now. My old news editor remembers it too, because she says that after the first draw I came into work so disappointed because I hadn’t won.
Over the years, my biggest prize win was £1,400 not bad and I know I shouldn’t be ungrateful, but it wasn’t exactly life-changing either. Nowadays all I seem to win is the odd Lucky Dip.
When they added more balls to the game some time back, I was gutted as it meant my two lines per game had less of a chance of winning. I don’t know why I am convinced I will win ’big’ one day because I know that statistically I have more chance of being murdered and I don’t expect to be killed.
Anyway, I read with interest about the launch of a new game called Set For Life, which will pay out a top prize of £10,000 a month for 30 years. The cynic in me immediately thinks that Camelot is hoping an older person will win as they won’t have 30 years ahead of them.
The new game will run on Mondays and Thursdays and cost £1.50 a ticket, so that’s at least another £3 a week, if I get sucked in. Players, aka suckers like me, pick five main numbers from one to 47, and one ’Life Ball’ from one to 10. With these they have the chance to win fixed prizes ranging from the top one of £10,000 a month for 30 years down to a fiver for matching two main numbers. According to Camelot, these ’annuity’ games are appealing as people like the idea of their prize being paid out in regular instalments. Me? I’d prefer my prize in one go, however, I wouldn’t say no to £10k a month for years and years.
In the first half of Camelot’s 2018/19 financial year, the lottery paid out nearly £2bn in prizes and created 196 millionaires. And although selling tickets won’t make you a millionaire, it seems the lottery is still big business for forecourts as 75% of lottery tickets are still sold through retail channels. And your share of the spoils? Camelot says its retail partners earned £147.2m in commission in the first half of its 2018/19 financial year. Doesn’t sound too shabby.