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Sunday 11 May 2008

World lottery with £250m jackpot planned

By Philip Aldrick
Last Updated: 8:23pm GMT 09/02/2007

  • Audio: Camelot’s Dianne Thompson on creating the world's first global lottery draw
  • Camelot plans to launch the first global lottery with an unmatched jackpot of £200m-£250m if it retains the UK lottery license for a third successive term.

    The "biggest lottery on earth" forms the centrepiece of Camelot's submission to the National Lottery Commission for the next seven year license from 2009. So far, "48 states and countries" have expressed an interest.


    Under the proposal, "up to 100" millionaires would be created every month with a mega jackpot once a year that could bag one lucky winner up to double the current Euro Millions record of £125m. The "world draw" would involve six or seven balls being picked at seperate locations around the world to create the lucky number.

    The "world draw" will develop on the success of the Euro Millions lottery to raise further revenues for good causes. Dianne Thompson, chief executive, said Camelot would deliver "more than" the £10.5bn expected from the current term.

    Camelot has a rival in the form of Sugal & Damani, a Mumbai-based operator of Indian state lotteries for the last 37 years. The chairman and chief executive flew in this morning to submit their bid at the National Gallery in London.

    Sugalchand Jain, the chairman, said he was "100pc confident" of winning. "We will give more to good causes than Camelot," he said. "We have our own technology. The main thrust is our technology is cheaper, which means we can return more to good causes." Ms Thompson acknowledged the threat, saying: "They are a serious competitor. They have good technology. It would be very easy for them to tag on that to the existing infrastructure."

    Camelot unveiled plans to replace the current 26,300 lottery terminals and roll out an extra 1,300. It is also introducing new online games that require an element of skill - such as a multi-player motor racing game in which the better you place, the more prizes you win.

    It also plans to expand the prizes on offer to "lifestyle" products such as trips to the Cannes film festival, a home makeover and snowboarding lessons, after "research showed demand for more prizes other than money".

    There will also be a shift towards "one-to-one communication" through the introduction of a player card which stores favourite numbers that "will make lost tickets a thing of the past". Supermarket Fastpay will be expanded and the lottery will be made available at 11 more retail chains.

    Camelot's shareholders - Cadbury Schweppes, De La Rue, Fujitsu Services, Thales Electronics and Royal Mail - have committed to double their equity investment and accept a lower profit margin if the group wins the license.

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