New Health Lottery to earn £50m for healthcare services
Richard Desmond, the owner of the media company Northern & Shell, will be launching a new UK TV lottery show later this week.
The Health Lottery will rival Camelot’s National Lottery that is currently run in the UK and will donate money from the sale of tickets to a number of charitable healthcare foundations.
It is hoped the Health Lottery will raise £50 million a year for services outside of the NHS, in addition to increasing Northern & Shell’s charitable donations and being a profitable venture for the company.
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The beneficiaries of the new lottery will be decided by local health interest groups and an independent charitable trust will distribute the cash.
It is expected the money will go to a wide range of services, from supporting young carers to training specialist nurses.
However, the new scheme has been criticised because it will donate less money to good causes than the existing National Lottery.
While tickets for the Health Lottery will cost £1 – the same as tickets for the standard National Lottery draw – only 20 pence will go to health causes, compared to Camelot’s donation of 28 pence from each pound.
Sir Stephen Bubb, from the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations, voiced his opinions on the new gamble to The Times newspaper.
He said it was a “pretty disgraceful development” before adding: “The Government needs to look at lottery regulation to ensure it’s made transparent to people who play that this new lottery is giving a lot less per £1 to good causes.”
However, the move was defended by Desmond, who said he truly believes donations from the Health Lottery will “touch every part of England, Scotland and Wales.”
Meanwhile, Martin Hall, the Chief Executive of the new game, said every community in Britain would experience its benefits.
When he first purchased the Health Lottery, Desmond said: “This is a great way of being able to get across more than £50m a year to change people's lives. That's why we got involved. It's a very exciting project.”
Tickets for the Health Lottery will be available to buy from 29 September and over 40,000 retailers have signed up to be vendors.
The top prize will be £100,000 and will be awarded if participants match five numbers on their ticket with the results of the draw.
The draw will take place on Saturday nights and will be shown during adverts on two television channels in the UK – ITV and Channel 5.
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