Essex County Council lottery ticket sales raising fraction of initial predictions

Essex County Council

Essex County Council - Credit: Archant

A lottery run by Essex County Council that offers a one in 1,000,000 chance to win the £25,000 jackpot is selling just a fraction of the tickets it was anticipated to when first launched.

The Essex Lottery was launched in November 2017 and to date has raised a total for £111,000 for good causes in Essex.

Ahead of the decision to create the lottery the council hoped the lottery could generate £600,000, in the first year, rising to £1.2m by year three to charities and good causes.

However the council (ECC) is now are looking to invest £15,000 in marketing the lottery to revive its flagging fortunes - current figures suggest an annual total income of around £124,500 from 2,400 weekly ticket sales.

It has now revised its ambitions with a proposed income target of £170,000 from weekly ticket sales of 3,268, by offering better chances of winning more.

The current prize structure is based upon a jackpot of £25,000, which is won if someone correctly guesses all numbers drawn. In addition, there are nine guaranteed winners, selected randomly as a draw, with the prize based upon a percentage of weekly revenue.

A total of 20p from each £1 ticket goes to the prize, with 60p going towards funding good causes. The remaining 20p is used to administrate the lottery.

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The fact that 60 per cent is being generated for good causes is seen as the unique selling point of the lottery - it is over double the amount other lotteries offer, but its performance has been disappointing.

The council agreed a drawdown of £45,000 from the transformation reserve, £5,000 to pay Gatherwell Ltd as part of the set up costs and £40,000 to be used towards ECC internal costs in establishing the lottery.

A statement prepared by ECC ahead of a cabinet decision to invest more money said: "The Essex Lottery was launched in November 2017 and to date has raised a total of £111,000 for good causes in Essex.

"This is an achievement in raising money for the public good, but it is considered that the Essex Lottery has the potential to achieve more. Revenue raised to date is below original expectations.

"Brand development, promotional and marketing activity was undertaken as part of the initial launch of the lottery.

"However, post launch this activity has not been sustained to maintain brand awareness, which has contributed to the reduced generation of revenue.

"Feedback from some of the good causes has been that the current prize fund structure is not as attractive to some players as it could be which also could be contributing towards the reduction in ticket sales and the generation of revenue.

"Essex County Council has been working with Gatherwell to develop proposals to help build upon the achievements so far, with key areas being identified to support this being marketing resources, promotion and initiatives to help drive tickets sales."