Harborough Lotto tickets to go on sale next month

Representatives of community groups and good causes at the launch of the Harborough Lotto. PHOTO BY ANDREW CARPENTER
Representatives of community groups and good causes at the launch of the Harborough Lotto. PHOTO BY ANDREW CARPENTER

The Harborough district's own community lottery, aimed at providing cash for local good causes and prizes for local winners, will launch next month.

Tickets will go on sale on Tuesday April 3, with the first draw taking place on Saturday, May 5.

Harborough clubs and groups were urged to join up, and Harborough people to join in - for as little as £1 a week - by a launch event last night (Weds) at Harborough District Council's HQ in Market Harborough.

You can do both at the Harborough Lotto website www.harboroughlotto.co.uk

Harborough District Council leader Neil Bannister, launching the lottery in the Symington Building's wedding ceremony room, said: "This room is held a lot of happy events. Harborough Lotto is another happy event that we can all get excited about."

He later told the Mail: "I think this is a great opportunity for local people to support good causes in their neighbourhood. People who play Harborough Lotto will get to choose where their money goes. There's a much greater control than the standard National Lottery."

The new lottery is a joint initiative between Harborough District Council and lottery firm Gatherwell, which already runs similar lotteries for 25 other local authorities.

Players pay from £1 a week to try to match six single-digit numbers in the right order. Match all six and you win the top prize of £25,000, Match the first or last five, and the prize is £250. Even matching the first or last two numbers wins a small prize - three free tickets.

Sixty per cent of each players' £1 goes to local causes, who register with the Harborough Lotto; 20 per cent goes on prizes and 20 per cent on administration.

And you can choose your favourite local good cause to benefit from 50p of your £1 contribution , whether it's a local charity, group or sports club. The other 10p goes into a central fund and another prize draw, distributed by the district council to the good causes.

The good causes will come from across the Harborough district - Market Harborough, Lutterworth, Broughton Astley and all the villages.

Ben Speare, managing director of Gatherwell, said: "This is a weekly online lottery - although we can accept people by telephone as well (01858 405050). Players' payments will be through card or direct debit."

As for the good causes, he urged them to sign up through the website, and tell supporters to take part, so they would get maximum benefit from Harborough Lotto.

He told the Mail a similar lottery in Aylesbury, started in 2015, has 2,750 "tickets" sold every week and now pulls in £85,800 a year for local good causes.

Local clubs and charities can sign up to the Lotto now; players can buy tickets from April 3.

Cllr Janette Ackerley, whose portfolio includes the Lotto, said: "It's brilliant to see so many people here at the launch. This is a great way to get money into your cause. What I really want to see is a big variety of causes benefiting right across the district."

Cllr Bannister added that Harborough Lotto would not affect money that the district council granted directly to local clubs and charities.

"It's completely additional" he said. "It's us a council enabling community groups to access greater funding."