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Monday, November 16, 1998 Published at 10:10 GMT


Lottery fund raising tops £6bn

The lottery's new ads highlight grant recipients

The National Lottery has raised more than £6 billion for good causes in just under four years, organisers Camelot have revealed.

The landmark was passed days before the fourth anniversary of the first lottery draw on November 19.

[ image: Millions play the lottery each week]
Millions play the lottery each week
The Chief Executive of Camelot, Tim Holley, said he was "delighted" with the achievement.

"On the way, the National Lottery has created more than 686 millionaires and paid out on more than 300m winning tickets," he added.

Camelot has released the latest figures days after embarking on a £12m advertising campaign which emphasises the lottery's good works rather than the possibility that anybody could scoop the jackpot.

Charities, sport, arts, heritage bodies and projects to mark the Millennium receive 28 pence from every pound taken in ticket sales.

Underestimated by the public

The latest publicity drive coincides with a survey, commissioned by Camelot, which found that seven out of 10 people would estimate the lottery had only raised less than £1bn for good causes.

[ image: Hundreds of arts projects have received money]
Hundreds of arts projects have received money
Only 14% of those questioned guessed correctly that the true figure was £6bn.

In addition, almost a third of those questioned said they did not know where any of the cash raised had gone.

Mr Holley said: "Our research, backed up by this latest survey, shows that people play the lottery for the chance to win large prizes but still want to know more about which good causes benefit from their weekly flutter."

Image problems

Camelot is trying to rehabilitate its public image after a series of setbacks this year. It suffered intense media criticism after it announced record profits of £80m.

[ image: Guy Snowden: Libel loser]
Guy Snowden: Libel loser
It also took a knock when Virgin boss Richard Branson won a libel victory against Guy Snowden, the former Chairman of GTech, Camelot's parent company.

Mr Branson was awarded £100,000 after the High Court heard that Mr Snowden tried to bribe him into pulling out of the race to run the lottery. Mr Snowden resigned from GTech after losing the case.

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