Littlewoods plans to fight the National Lottery by massively increasing its potential prize money.
Littlewoods will roll over its weekly pools jackpots when the top prize is not won, in a direct attack on one of the Lottery’s most popular features.
The company is looking at how players would react to the move. Under new rules introduced by the Government, pools jackpots can be rolled over for a maximum of three weeks, as is the case with the Lottery. This could lead to jackpots of up to 5m for Littlewoods.
Lottery sales increase by up to 20 per cent if there is a roll-over, or 50 per cent if there is a double roll-over.
Littlewoods says the plans could be introduced within months if customers give their backing. Vernons says it is considering roll-overs for some of its new games.
The news comes as Littlewoods Leisure, which includes the pools, scratchcards and Spot the Ball business, showed a fall of 27.3 per cent in turnover for 1996 compared with 1995, with sales down from 631m to 459m.