Christmas Lottery 2012

We’ve received a number of questions about the lottery this Christmas, when it takes place and how to buy tickets. Here’s a typical example:

“I have an enquiry which I firstly asked in my local store which handles lottery tickets, am I able to buy in advance the tickets for December 26th? I was told I would have to buy tickets for all the weeks preceding that date also, I was not too confident in that reply hence this email, I was thinking of purchasing for Christmas presents, therefore would want about £40 worth for that date alone, would you please advise if this is correct. Thanks, Maureen”

With regards to buying Christmas lottery tickets, I’m afraid they are correct.  The play boards you fill in at the store allow you to play Wednesday or Saturday or both and for a number of weeks 1, 2, 3 or 4. There isn’t a way to stipulate a date in the future.

The draw takes place as normal on the 26th December, being Boxing Day. So in theory you have until 7:30 on Christmas day to buy tickets.  However, many shops and stores may (!) choose to close on Christmas Day! So we’d recommend buying your christmas lottery tickets early and possibly online. 

One thing we’ve noted as well when buying tickets for presents in a shop, make sure you tell the store person that you want 40 x £1 (or whatever you want) before they go and ring through £5 on each ticket.

Paula Radcliffe losses national Lottery funding

Paula Radcliffe has been removed from the list of athletes who receive lottery funding.  That in itself is not much of a surprise. After all, Radcliffe is now 38 years old and seems to be injury prone at present – years of marathon running are bound to take a toll on the body. What is more, UK Athletics has been working towards the cycling model that if an athlete doesn’t look like a gold medal contender, then they aren’t interested.

What is surprising to me, and maybe a lot of people is why Paula was still receiving national lottery funding. Surely the funding is meant for up and coming athletes; athletes that haven’t broken through and who can’t afford to enter or get to races through lack of money. Or to help an athlete with expenses like a travelling physio, to enable them to perform at their peak.

Yet Paula has to be pretty well off.  The British runner won the New York marathon in 2004, 2007 and 2008, the prize for which is $200,000.  Then there’s £164,000 for winning the London marathon, earnings from an imaginatively names autobiography “my story so far” and lucrative deals with sponsors like Nike and Cadbury’s.

So while the Daily Mail might tut-tut at how a nation’s favourite could be treated so shabbily, it is probably for the betterment of sport.

Unclaimed Jackpot in Swindon

If you live in Swindon or nearby villages, you might want to start checking your drawers.  Somewhere in the town is a winning ticket worth £1 million from the EuroMillion Millionaire Raffle.

So have a look through your old tickets and see if the raffle number ZLJ501773 which was drawn on the 29th September 2012.

Surely it is worth 15 minutes checking your wallet, pockets, purse, handbag and even down the back of the sofa.  And if you think you might have bought the ticket but lost it, then check out what to do about lost tickets here.

Rio Olympics 2016 Lottery Volunteers

If you are a budding Olympic athlete with your sights set on Rio 2016 you will need to develop a social awareness.  The National Lottery funding committees are to insist that those receiving grants will have to do at least five days of voluntary work to receive their funds.

The Culture Secretary, Maria Miller, said ‘It is about mentoring and coaching young people and using the success and popularity of the Games, and big names of the athletes, to drive up sports participation and inspire future stars.”

Athletes will be encouraged to mentor youngsters in schools or sports clubs across the country, and the initiative is aiming to provide around 5,000 days of volunteering as a result.

Camelot make New Jersey Lottery bid

The operators of the UK National Lottery, the Camelot Group, are making a bid to operate the New Jersey Lottery in America.

The New Jersey lottery is set for privatisation next year and four companies attended the ‘mandatory information session’ in Trenton, New Jersey. They are the lottery systems supplier GTech Corporation, Scientific Games, the Greek operators Intralot and the UK operators Camelot and all fur will have until 15th November to submit their bids.

The New Jersey state officials think that putting their lottery into private hands will increase revenue which it uses for education and social service programmes.  The chosen operator will need to put $120 million up-front and sign a 15 year deal, but with gross revenues of $2.8 BILLION, the NJ Lottery is a prize worth chasing.

The Camelot Group is, of course, owned by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, so there’s a bit of a circle of ownership developing here.