Northampton Lottery with £25k cash prize could be launched by borough council

A lottery with a weekly top prize of £25,000 looks set to be launched by Northampton Borough Council.

Monday, 12th November 2018, 10:50 am
Updated Monday, 12th November 2018, 1:48 pm
The Northampton Lottery scheme could be approved at the Guildhall on Wednesday evening

If approved at a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday evening, the scheme will see 60p from every £1 ticket go to good causes, 20p to the prize pot and 17p to costs of running it.

Players can direct 50p from every ticket to a particular cause if they buy one specific to that group.

Although the odds of scooping the jackpot are a million to one, winning any sort of prize is 50 to 1.

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Stuart McGregor, the council's chief finance officer, said: "There are a number of community groups and charities that run lotteries or similar fundraising schemes within the borough, but there are no other Northampton-wide lotteries currently being delivered.

"The unique selling point of a Northampton Lottery is that players can be assured that proceeds will stay within Northampton, as will the majority of prizes."

At least 30 councils across the country run lotteries, including Corby Borough Council.

Aylesbury Vale's lottery, for example, sees just over one per cent of people play.

If the same proportion were to play Northampton Lottery, good causes would recieve £69,438 per year. Initial beneficiaries would be decided by councillors Anna King and Brandon Eldred.

Despite the extra funds for non-profit groups, some of the local authorities who run lotteries have endured criticism over percieved promotion of gambling.

But Northampton Borough Council says it would seek to address concerns by making its lottery only playable by direct debit. There will also be a cap on how many tickets can be bought by a single person for each draw.

Mr McGregor said: "There has been very limited negative feedback from the operation of lotteries at other councils relating to the promotion of gambling and worries about reductions in direct funding.

"It has been outweighed by positive reactions from the groups and causes, including schools, which have benefited from the increase in funding."