Er, what the Dickens is he on about?

Dear old Neil Dickens, Camelot’s security director. He is busy trying to track down the scoundrel who leaked documents to an “alert but obscure” magazine (according to the News of the World) revealing the company directors’ “fat cat” pay. And good luck to him – the Diary hates a snitch. But he has managed to take the time to write a wonderful and sensitive reply to a story the Diary ran some time ago.

“I read with interest your observations concerning a suggestion that a less scrupulous lottery operator than Camelot could rig The National Lottery draw simply by the use of a little nail varnish on the lottery balls.

Your readers should be left in no doubt that it is totally wrong to suggest that tampering with the balls by the use of nail varnish could influence the outcome of the draw.

Whereas some lotteries in the world use ping-pong balls, which are obviously light and vulnerable to either damage or interference, the UK’s National Lottery uses solid latex rubber balls, each weighing approximately 80 grams.

We have eight sets of balls, each of which are retained in secure containers manufactured by Chubb Safes and separately locked by the Price Waterhouse independent auditors and a member of Camelot’s security team.

A set of balls is only used for a maximum of three occasions, after which they are thoroughly examined by a representative from the National Weights & Measures in the presence of both an auditor from Price Waterhouse and Camelot’s security team.

These examinations are, from time to time, also observed by a representative from Oflot, the regulator of The National Lottery.”

So there.

Neil Dickens QPM

Director of Security


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