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£3 tickets to fill lottery pool of prizes

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MORE than half a million Christmas lottery tickets were sold to distribution agents in Guernsey and Jersey last month.

Association of Guernsey Charities chairman Malcolm Woodhams at the launch of the Christmas lottery. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 22651130)

With six weeks still to go until the draw, organisers hope the jackpot will top the £1m. mark.

Ticket prices have increased from £2 to £3 this year to provide a ‘bigger than ever’ prize pool.

At the same time last year, the top prize stood at £530,000, having started from a lower guaranteed £300,000.

The minimum jackpot has not yet risen from the initial guaranteed £500,000.

However, sales are currently approaching the first increase which will happen when more than 600,000 tickets are sold.

So far this year, 538,000 tickets have been sold, a similar figure to last year.

All the proceeds from the Christmas lottery are distributed to good causes by the Association of Guernsey Charities.

Chairman Malcolm Woodhams said the new prize structure seemed to have been a popular change.

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‘Feedback in previous years is that instead of the main draw having one big jackpot and a few smaller cash prizes, islanders would prefer to see the winnings spread around a bit more.

‘So this Christmas, as well as someone winning a major first prize jackpot, there are more than 85 other prizes, of between £500 and £50,000,’ he said.

Top prize on the instant win scratch card is now £50,000 compared to the £5,000 it was previously.

‘We are confident revenues will exceed last year which will be great news for so many good causes in Guernsey who will benefit as a result. This can only be a good thing for local charities,’ he said.

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Main agent representatives Peter Brierley and Lorraine Ellis expect an increase in sales over the next few weeks as Christmas approaches.

Mrs Ellis said: ‘Friends and colleagues clubbing together to buy blocks of tickets is traditionally a big element of the Christmas draw and we are starting to see those sales.’

Mr Brierley said even with more prizes, this year’s Christmas Lottery jackpot could still set a new record.

‘If we sell a similar numbers of tickets as last year then the top prize will be the biggest yet at £1,320,000. If we completely sell out, which has happened previously, it will reach a mouth-watering £1.7million.’

Last year revenue from the Christmas lottery fell to just over £3m., down from £3.3m. in 2016 and from a high of £3.5m. in 2014.

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