The Health Lottery is to increase the percentage of its ticket price that goes to charity in response to Covid-19.
It currently gives 20.34% of each ticket’s price to charity. This will now increase to 25.5%.
The lottery says that the decision was made because the Covid-19 crisis has left many charities in a difficult financial position, and because “there has never been a more important time” to support them.
Under UK law, at least 20% of a lottery's ticket price must go to charity. While the Health Lottery will now give a 25.5% contribution, this is still lower than the amount given by other lotteries. For example, the People’s Postcode Lottery gives 32% of ticket goes to charity.
The Health Lottery launched in 2011 and is owned by Richard Desmond's company Northern & Shell, which published the Daily Express, the Sunday Express and the Daily Star before selling them in 2018.
The Health Lottery manages 12 different society lotteries that cover different areas of the UK. Their charity contributions go to the People’s Health Trust, which is tasked with distributing the money to charities.
The trust focuses on tackling health inequalities and runs three different programmes: two directly funding local projects and communities, and one funding larger charities working locally with residents on local projects. Former grantees include Dementia UK, Mencap, the Alzheimer’s Society and Scope.
The Health Lottery has so far raised more than £115m, which has gone towards 3,000 community projects and charities across the UK.
Crisis has left charities ‘in a vulnerable position’
Martin Ellice, joint group managing director of The Health Lottery, said: “There has never been a more important time in living memory than now to ensure that we support the phenomenal work carried out by the thousands of charities and projects across the length and breadth of Great Britain – many of whom are in desperate need of funding.
“The Covid-19 crisis has left many charities and projects in a vulnerable position. That’s the reason we have taken the decision to increase the level of contribution by over 25%, allowing us to support the health inequality projects that are so important to local communities.
“Every single one of the charities and projects funded through the Health Lottery carries out wonderful work and it’s of paramount importance that we keep them alive.”