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West Norfolk MP calls for lottery prize cash increase

Henry Bellingham
Henry Bellingham

North West Norfolk MP Sir Henry Bellingham is calling for a lottery prize increase to drive more money into local causes.

In a Westminster Hall debate, Sir Henry called the government to lift the current prize limit for Society Lotteries from roughly £25,000 per draw to £1 million to raise more money for local causes.

He said there is currently around 500 societies who run lotteries including well-known national charities, such as Macmillan, RNIB, Action Aid, who raised roughly £100 million for worthy cause in 2011, and £250 million last year.

In the debate, Sir Henry said: “You will remember that the launch of a national lottery back in the days of the major government was one of that government’s great successes.

“When history is written, I think that it will be seen as a far-reaching and incredibly innovative measure.

“More than £38 billion has been raised for good causes around the country, and all colleagues will have examples of outstanding projects that have helped transform communities in their constituencies.

“I have a great deal of respect for Camelot. I do not want to dwell too much on the national lottery or Camelot during this debate, because I want to talk specifically about society lotteries.

“Unfortunately, in recent years, Camelot has lost its way somewhat. Many of my constituents were incensed by the decision to double the price of tickets and add 10 extra numbers to the card.

“The impact on small family syndicates was significant, and I know a lot of constituents who pulled out of supporting the national lottery as a consequence.

“I want to concentrate on society lotteries, and to flag up the extraordinary revolution that has taken place over the past decade. It has been a remarkable story for the third sector.”

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