100m boost to Lottery pay-outs

Lottery regulator Oflot is pressing Camelot to put up to 100m extra into prizes for Lottery players who correctly choose five numbers and the bonus number.

The move is partly in response to pressure on the Lottery organisers to find fairer ways of distributing prizes, and increase pay-outs for non-jackpot winners.

Camelot’s licence commits it to paying out 50 per cent of ticket sales in prizes, but this year it has only managed to pay out 48 per cent. The outstanding 100m – known as the “prize-fund shortfall” – is paid directly to the Good Causes, but it means players are losing out on prize money.

Camelot has proposed putting more money into Superdraws, which offer guaranteed jackpots of at least 10m. But Oflot says it would be fairer to put the money into higher prizes for non-jackpot winners.

An Oflot spokeswoman says: “We have asked Camelot to look at alternatives to having more Superdraws. As an alternative to the higher prize tiers, it would benefit more players to give more prizes for five numbers and the bonus number. It is one way to deal with it imaginatively.” She says a decision will be taken within a few months.

The news comes as Camelot announces financial results for the year to April 1998, with total sales up 17 per cent to 5.5bn and profit before tax hoisted 14 per cent to 81m. Overall payment to directors is down one per cent in total, compared with rises of 40 per cent last year.

Camelot ad review, p13

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