There was already little love lost between Camelot, operator of the UK national lottery, and Richard Desmond’s Health Lottery but the rivalry has been ratcheted up a notch after the national lottery’s price increase last week.
Both lotteries have been running television adverts extensively this week. Camelot has been promoting its bigger jackpots and new associated Lotto raffle in an advertising campaign reported to be costing GB£ 15 million.
The Health Lottery’s adverts have been focusing on the fact that its ticket price is now 50% cheaper than Camelot’s Lotto – £1 versus £2. Its website has the headline “unlike Lotto, we’re staying at a pound”.
One of the weaknesses of the Health Lottery was that its top prize was limited to GB£ 100,000 because it operates as a society lottery. But it has now announced an agreement with betting firm Coral to offer a bet on the Health Lottery to win GB£ 1 million with its Million Pound Number.
Coral’s Simon Clare, promoting the new game, said: “This is going to go down a storm. It will only be a matter of time before we are celebrating our first Coral Health Lottery Plus millionaire for just a £1 bet.”
Before Saturday’s (5 October) new Lotto draw, MSN.co.uk ran an online survey which provided some interesting (but statistically unscientific) results.
Just 8% of respondents to this survey claimed they would continue to buy the same number of tickets and, therefore, double the amount they spend.
34% claimed they would stop playing the lottery altogether and 25% would switch to another lottery, which might worry Camelot, although there is often a discrepancy between what people say they will do and what they actually do.
Nevertheless, 2014 could see the intense rivalry continue in the UK lottery sector.