The Health Lottery will start selling tickets to its new mid-week draw next week as it hopes to increase sales and raise more money for charity a year on from launch.
Richard Desmond, whose Northern and Shell company owns the Health Lottery, told civilsociety.co.uk in August that he intended to launch the second weekly draw. His announcement followed the High Court decision to not allow Camelot a review of the Gambling Commission’s decision to provide a licence to the Health Lottery.
Tickets for the new ‘Win Wednesdays’ draw will go on sale next Monday, with the first draw held on Channel 5 on the evening of 17 October. Like the Saturday draw, it will offer a top prize of £100,000 and will be sold in around 40,000 outlets around the country.
The new draw marks one year since the Health Lottery first launched, aiming to raise £50m for good causes a year. The Health Lottery says instead that it has since raised just over £24.5m, and has previously blamed the legal challenges to it made by Camelot, the operator of the National Lottery.
Chief operating officer of the Health Lottery, Dave Wall said the organisation had achieved “an incredible amount” in its debut year.
“We have launched a brand that people like and recognise, we have helped raise more than £24.5m for health causes and charities in every corner of Great Britain and we have handed out around £48m in prizes,” said Wall.
Camelot reiterated its earlier statement, made as it announced it was writing to Prime Minister David Cameron to have the Gambling Act tightened so as to make Health Lottery-like multi-society lotteries illegal. A spokesman for the charity repeated that the new draw “only serves to underline the urgency with which the government needs to act to ensure that the law mirrors the intention and will of Parliament that there should be only one National Lottery”.
A Health Lottery spokeswoman said: “Camelot is asking the government to shut off a pipeline of funding which helps charities support health causes in some of the most deprived communities in Great Britain, at a time when fundraising for charities is more difficult than ever. Those charities would be dismayed and distressed if the projects they have been able to fund because of The Health Lottery were to be shut down or discontinued in order to protect Camelot’s commercial position.
"Camelot had record sales and profits in the last financial year, with sales in excess of £6.5 billion. The Health Lottery is less than two percent of Camelot’s size, and the DCMS’s own report concluded the Health Lottery has brought new money to good causes since its launch."