Lottery sells 7 million dreams in a day
Tuesday 15 November 1994
Shops reported brisk sales of the pounds 1 tickets and few teething problems with the pounds 70m computer network that links just over 10,000 stores to Camelot, the lottery operator.
The launch was celebrated at an early-morning party at the Tower of London, attended by the Prime Minister, for the countdown to 7am, when the first tickets went on sale. The first draw will be televised on BBC 1 on Saturday.
John Major said: ``I'm going to buy a lottery ticket, and the proceeds will go to charity if I win.'' Later, he revealed the charity would be Mencap, and his lottery numbers were 29, 3, 43 - after his birthdate - 13, 11 and 10.
``Daybreak at the Tower of London has been a pretty inauspicious time for a lot of people over the years but not, I think, this morning,'' he added. ``It [the lottery] is going to raise huge sums of money for good causes that public expenditure would never provide for.'' They include the arts, sport and heritage.
Stephen Dorrell, the National Heritage Secretary, denied claims that the game would act in effect as a tax on the poor, saying: ``Tax is compulsory, the lottery is voluntary.'' But Chris Smith, the Labour heritage spokesman, warned the lottery must not be seen as a method for distributing money from the poor to finance the pastimes of the rich.
The only problems of the day were small ones: computer and satellite links connecting some retailers to Camelot went down, and a flood at a network switching centre in Luton, Bedfordshire, cut off the link to most outlets in the town.
Mixed reception, page 3
Letters, page 15
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- 4 Sussex couple die in suspected Christmas Day 'suicide pact'
- 5 The Unluckiest People of the Year 2014 (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
Margaret Thatcher 'expressed fears of Asian rising' at Anglo-Irish summit in 1984
UK weather: Warning for more snow and ice as freezing temperatures and gales hit Britain
UK weather: Travel chaos continues as King's Cross train delays add to snow on roads
The Unluckiest People of the Year 2014 (and one very unlucky giraffe)
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
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BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
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