New lottery to make £50 million for health causes

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The Independent Online

A new televised lottery is launched today with the aim of generating up to £50 million a year for health causes.

The Health Lottery - run by Northern & Shell, which owns Channel 5 and Express newspapers - offers a £100,000 top prize for matching five numbers from 50.



The launch was hosted by television presenter Eamonn Holmes, who will front the live draw to be shown on ITV1 and Channel 5 each Saturday from October 8.



He said: "It's such a great idea, I am really excited about being part of something that not only makes people smile every week, but also has the ability to change lives in the longer term.



"In these difficult economic times, the Health Lottery will inject a sizeable amount of new money into that local network, and the projects that are supported will help people live longer, healthier lives."



Twenty pence from tickets, which cost £1, will go towards health-related good causes.



Matching three numbers wins £50 and four numbers £500.



No matter how many people win, everyone will get the advertised prize, the Health Lottery said.



John Hume, chief executive of the People's Health Trust, said: "We will be working directly with communities to identify practical and sustainable ways in which funding from the Health Lottery can have real impacts on health and well-being in communities experiencing significant disadvantages."



Martin Hall, chief executive of the Health Lottery said: "The Health Lottery game is a fresh new alternative which has one single good cause at its heart - health.



"We will be offering people the opportunity to win a life-changing amount of money while at the same time contributing to tackling real health issues in their own communities.



"It is an exciting new launch which will benefit every community in Great Britain."



But the launch attracted criticism from Sir Stephen Bubb, of the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations, who dubbed it a "disgraceful new development".



He wrote on his blog: "He (Northern & Shell owner Richard Desmond) intends to only give 20p in the pound to health, whereas the National Lottery is giving 28p to good causes.



"So if people switch to Desmond from the National Lottery charities will lose out."



A spokeswoman for the National Lottery confirmed 28% goes to good causes but could not say how much goes on health funding.

PA

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