The Rt Hon David Cameron
The Prime Minister
10 Downing Street

A. citizen
100 Any Road
Typical Town


Date:   11th September 2013                                                              
 Dear Prime Minister

National Lottery doubles its price

I am quite surprised that our National lottery (now renamed Lotto) has decided to double its entry level price from £1 to £2. Although the lottery is supposed to be a national lottery I can’t recall that the people were asked about this increase. Was the government asked?

At present I like, millions of others, or at least hundreds of thousands of people, have a direct debit for two single lines a week. The cost of using the same numbers in both the Wednesday and Saturday lottery has now been increased from £104 a year to £208!

For me the increase has meant that I will stop using the lottery. I suppose that others will do the same. I see no benefit in the changes that have lead to this increase.

I thought that when the lottery was first introduced it was a good idea. For a modest sum people could win a prize and a proportion of the sales could go to charity.

I think that one line should be kept at £1.  If people want to increase their chances they can buy more than one line. For the record I have won several £10 prizes over the years, and would have liked more of a chance of larger prizes, e.g. £15, £20, £25  rather than millions.

Yours Sincerely,
A. Citizen 

The Prime Minister's office has referred my letter to the Department for Culture Media and Sport for them to answer their reply is below.

Department for Culture Media & Sport
Ministerial Support Team 4th Floor
100 Parliament Street London SW1A 2BQ
T: 020 7211 6000 F: 020 7211 6309
Our ref: CMS 238350

Dear A. citizen,

Thank you for your letter of 11 September regarding the new price of Lotto tickets.

I note your concern about the increase of the cost of a lottery ticket. However, I should explain that it is the responsibility of an independent regulator to approve any new game, or changes to existing National Lottery games, before they go on sale. This decision was taken by the National Lottery Commission (on 1 October 2013 this body merged with the Gambling Commission). The regulator needs to be satisfied that any game in the National Lottery portfolio is being run fairly, that players are protected, and, subject to these considerations, that the game will raise as much money as possible for good causes. These decisions are rightly taken at arms-length from Government.

Regardless, the price of the National Lottery has not changed since its inception 18 years ago. The National Lottery Commission approved the change in price after carefully considering a request from Camelot, following a decline in tickets sales. This decision was taken as it seemed the most effective way of protecting the long term interests of the National Lottery and the money it raises for good causes. Despite the price of the main draw increasing to £2, there will continue to be a number of options for anyone wishing to play for £1, under a variety of prize structures.

I hope this reassures you.

Yours sincerely,
Ministerial Support Team
Department for Culture, Media and Sport

This letter does not really answer the original complaint that the price increase will deny the opportunity for people who are unable to spend twice as much. I think they have got this wrong. We shall see what happens. As to why people were losing interest in the lottery, The National Lottery Commission could have considered having more lower prizes which would increase the chance of people winning a prize.