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The BBC's Emma Udwin
"A new team"
 real 28k

Sir David Frost interviews
Bill Gates and Richard Branson
 real 28k

Richard Branson and Bill Gates talk to BBC
"We estimate we can raise 2bn more for charity and win back six million lost lottery players"
 real 28k

Sunday, 6 February, 2000, 18:44 GMT
Lottery team-up for Gates and Branson

Branson and Gates graphic

Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson has recruited Microsoft chairman Bill Gates to help win the next licence for the National Lottery.

Microsoft will provide the PC technology to sell lottery tickets, not only in shops but also over the internet and through interactive television and mobile phones.

The deal will put Sir Richard's non-profit People's Lottery on a good footing with barely 12 months before Camelot's licence to run the National Lottery expires.

Sir Richard, speaking on BBC One's Breakfast With Frost programme, said he estimated they could make an extra 2bn a year for good causes.

Seven-year contract

He also said they could win back half of the 12 million people who, he said, had stopped playing the National Lottery since it was launched in 1994.

Bids for the seven-year contract must be in by next month and the government has made it clear it would prefer the next licence-holder to be a non-profit making organisation.

Bill Gates Sir Richard says Bill Gates shares his principles
The National Lottery Commission has confirmed seven firms have expressed an interest in running the lottery.

Sir Richard met Mr Gates in London on Tuesday and agreed to design the software for the People's Lottery.

He will also advise on security encryption and data warehousing.

Mr Gates told Breakfast With Frost: "The lottery terminals in the past have not used PC technology and there hasn't been a way of leveraging all the things which are going on with the internet.

'A millionaire a day'

"Because of the time frame, it is very right to say isn't there an approach which can cost a lot less money and can be a richer experience for the people who want to us it."

Sir Richard pledged to make "a millionaire a day every day of the year" but said it was unlikely he would increase the frequency of the twice-weekly lottery draws.

The Sunday Business newspaper said Virgin would pay Microsoft a fee but Sir Richard reportedly wants Mr Gates to consider donating some of it to charity.

It said Sir Richard has also recruited Kellogg's to help with distribution, retail and marketing, US gaming technology company AWI and accountants KPMG.

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See also:
06 Feb 00 |  UK
Battle lines drawn for lottery licence
12 Dec 99 |  Business
Virgin lottery bid due
30 Sep 99 |  The Company File
Lottery licence bids open
12 Nov 99 |  The Company File
The rise, fall and rise of Camelot
20 Dec 99 |  Business
Branson: Still flying high
31 Jan 00 |  Business
Gates: No Microsoft media merger
08 Dec 99 |  Business
Ericsson and Microsoft hook up
14 Jan 00 |  Business
Microsoft's next move
01 Jan 00 |  UK
Lottery creates 18 millennium millionaires

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