Lottery price hike provokes backlash


News that National lottery ticket prices are to double from £1 to £2 in September has been met with huge public backlash.

Low income households are particularly disgruntled by the price rise, the first since the lottery launched in 1994, with many threatening to boycott the national prize draw.

Lotto players have taken to Twitter and Facebook to slam the move announced on Wednesday, calling the National Lottery organiser Camelot "disgusting" and "greedy."

Many voiced plans to take their betting money elsewhere and buy premium bonds or play the Irish lottery instead.

National backlash
Around 60% of UK adults play the Lotto regularly, with an average weekly spend of just under £6. From September, a family playing one set of numbers in both weekly draws will see their annual spend double to £208.

In 2009 a study found lower-income groups spend more on tickets, pinning high hopes on a win to transform their finances.

Long time players that use the same set of numbers in each draw will be the biggest losers, as many will be worried to turn their back on the game in case their numbers finally come up.

Increase in price money
Camelot said the dramatic increase will be be offset by a rise in prize money. It said the payout for the average Saturday jackpot would increase from about £4.1m to £5m.

In defense of the move, it said that charities, ticket sellers and government coffers would all benefit from the price rise. It also announced rises in the amount paid to those matching three numbers, from £10 to £25, and matching four numbers, from £60 to £100.

Andy Duncan, Managing Director of Camelot UK Lotteries Limited, said: "Our players still love Lotto – but after 18 years, they say they want more from it.

"We've spoken extensively with them to develop a re-energised game, and the changes we'll be introducing in the autumn to rejuvenate Lotto will give them what they have asked for: £25 for matching three numbers; bigger jackpots; and a brand new way to play and win one of 50 prizes of a guaranteed £20,000 on each and every draw."

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