National Lottery: Check Carefully You Are In It To Win It

Tonight’s National Lottery jackpot is just under £60m after 15 rollovers which could even prompt skeptics to buy a ticket. And today there’s another reason why buying a ticket could be a very good idea.

Yesterday I got a broadcast e-mail from the National Lottery reminding me to add funds to my account.

Dear Claire,
This is a service message to let you know that we expect to see high volumes of visitors to The National Lottery website in the hours leading up to the close of ticket sales for the Lotto draw at 7.30pm this Saturday 9th January.

If you plan to buy a ticket for any of our draw based games this week and you need to add funds to your account to play, we would recommend that you do this as early as possible in order to avoid disappointment.


The National Lottery Team

There’s potentially a few reasons which prompted this. Firstly the £57.8m jackpot rollover but also because the lottery rules changed last year for jackpots over £50m. If no one winner is drawn, the jackpot must be distributed to next level of Lotto players with the most number matches.

The Level Works 1
The Level restoration project relied on Lottery funding.

Another reason for stressing to add funds to the account in plenty of time could be down to the curious story of Mr and Mrs Nylan in the tabloids. The story was spun as a mobile phone glitch but after skimming through their quotes of ‘despair’ at missing out on the £35m prize, they were trying to buy a ticket without funds in the on-line account. They claim they topped it up but there’s the dispute; Camelot don’t have a record of it. As regular players of the lottery on-line, this ‘unlucky’ couple should well know players receive an e-mail confirmation of your ticket and a copy of a ticket on your account. They were trying to buy their ticket just after 7pm that Saturday, when the cut-off is 7.30pm.

This cry baby story niggled me. Especially now they’ve paraded their sense of entitlement to the press, even using their brain-damaged sister to shamelessly pull on people’s heart-strings. After all, we ‘play’ the lottery, it’s classed as gambling. If you’re that serious about playing, then check for your ticket record, each has a unique reference number. But what’s more the story detracts from what the lottery has achieved for the beneficiaries of the grants, rather than the comparatively low number of jackpot winners. Even Camelot’s high-profile advertising campaigns focus on the luxurious lifestyle winning would afford rather than how communities benefit.

Personally I don’t believe a ‘lottery’ should be the way to fund public projects or boost our national sports performance. It feels wrong that such worthy causes rely on grants and charity. But all the while this system exists (and I can’t see it ever being disbanded, even by Jeremy Corbyn) we should look to the worthwhile work the lottery supports, rather than further legitimising the destructive and empty ‘get rich quick’ ethos for our young generation. For example, The Level restoration project, the Lottery Heritage funded initiative which prompted me to abandon my own skepticism of the 1:45m odds of winning and set up a standing order to buy a ticket.

Mr and Mrs Nylan’s missed prize of £35m would certainly fund a lot of worthwhile projects for our society. Including those supporting our downtrodden young society. Schemes which enhance their skills and creative abilities in order to realise their potential and achieve something unique, personal and real. And I also have the simple ideal that not only should these successes should guarantee them self-worth but also the dignity of affordable shelter and food.

So if you’re buying a ticket, make sure you add funds, check the transaction. There’s more people counting on it than you think.




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About Claire Jones-Hughes

Founder and co-editor of, Claire has been blogging since 2009. She has posted on a variety of sites including The Argus, The Huffington Post and The Guardian's Comment Is Free. Known as The Contented Mummy on social media, she is dedicated to honest, unsponsored blogging so that parents can benefit from shared experience. Can also be found at - sharing her journey to health & wellness.

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