Oct. 4, 2013 – The controversial price hike from £1 – £2 on the National Lottery’s Lotto game go into effect for Saturday’s drawing, which will also feature the Lotto Raffle – a brand new element for the nearly 20-year-old game.
Saturday, Oct. 5, and the following Saturday, Oct. 12, will both be special “launch” nights for the new Lotto, offering players a shot at a £10 million jackpot.
To introduce the new Lotto Raffle, the National Lottery is guaranteeing 1,000 Raffle winners who will each win £20,000 – a total of £20 million in raffle prizes in each of the two launch drawings!
The price hike is also allowing the National Lottery to offer higher prizes for matching numbers in the Lotto drawing. “New” Lotto will be paying out £25 to any player who is able to match just 3 numbers – more than twice the previous £10 payout.
More smaller prizes means more winners, and the National Lottery says that the jump in price from £1 to £2 is allowing them to offer twice the prize money on each drawing.
While prize amounts for matching more numbers have actually decreased – the most noticeable drop is a 50 percent slash to the prize for matching 5-out-of-6 with the Bonus ball – the new Lotto Raffle has guaranteed payouts of £20,000 each drawing.
There are 50 initial guaranteed prizes, and with each rollover, the number of guaranteed Raffle prizes the Lottery will hand out increases by 50.
Despite the new game, the increase in smaller prizes, and the increase in the value of the jackpot, the doubling of a ticket’s price has caused controversy – even outrage – since it was announced earlier this year.
A study from independent research group Survation found that nearly 70 percent of National Lottery players – even those who played most often – said they would be less likely to buy a ticket after the price hikes took effect.
Even more of the players polled said they thought it was unfair for Camelot, the company which operates the National Lottery, to have raised prices.
Camelot maintains that the price hike will only serve to raise more money for the causes it supports. A look at the distribution of National Lottery funds shows that more than 50 percent of revenue from ticket sales was paid back to players in prizes last year.
Twenty-eight percent was directed to the National Lottery’s Good Causes benefactors. That money is divided amongst specific areas of need by specialists separate from Camelot.
A further 17 percent was paid to the government and Lottery retailers, 4 percent paid for operating costs, and Camelot maintains that it made a profit of less than 1 percent in fiscal year 2013.
In the eyes of government, lotteries represent a guaranteed source of income for socially beneficial causes. In the eyes of players, the big number is a chance to dream. With the new Lotto format and the new Raffle game – the less people playing means the better the odds of nabbing a prize.