Spend, spend, spend

This weekend, the National Lottery celebrates its tenth birthday. Mark Wilson casts a backward glance at our favourite flutter
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The Independent Online

Percentage of UK adult population that has played the National Lottery: 94.

Percentage of UK adult population that has played the National Lottery: 94.

A lottery ball weighs 80g and has the number printed on it 16 times.

For every £1 spent on the lottery:

50p to winners

28p to Good Causes

12p to the Government in duty

4.5p operating costs

5p commission to retailer

0.5p profit to Camelot

So, since 1994...

Good Causes: £16bn

Government coffers: £7bn

Camelot profits: c£500m

Weekly Lotto spend per household by income (2002)

Under £4,500 £4.50

£4,500-£9,499 £4.50

£9,500-£15,499 £3.10

£15,500-£24,999 £5.20

£25,000 and over £4.00

Biggest unclaimed prize: £3,011,065. The ticket was bought in south Hertfordshire for the 6 September 2000 draw. If you've got it, bad luck: it has expired.

Feeling lucky?

Numbers most often picked in lottery draws (including bonus ball):

38 25 31 44 43 11

Numbers least often picked in lottery draws:

13 41 39 20 4 15

13 has been picked 106 times in 10 years; 38 has been picked more than one-and-a-half times as often.

Total ticket sales: 57 billion

"The most effective way to give to charity is to give direct. If an individual gives £1 direct to a charity through the Gift Aid scheme, the total value of the gift will be £1.28. If an individual purchases a lottery ticket, only 28p goes to the Good Causes, of which less than 6p is allocated to charities."

Stuart Etherington, chief executive, National Council for Voluntary Organisations, August 2004

The odds...

of winning any prize: 1 in 54

of winning the jackpot: 1 in 13,983,816

of throwing a six on a die nine times in a row: 1 in 10,077,695

of being killed on a flight with an airline with the best safety record: 1 in 7.7 milion

of being killed by falling out of bed: 1 in 2 million

Percentage of lottery money that people think goes on advice, information and counselling for asylum-seekers: 23.

Actual percentage of lottery money that goes on advice, information and counselling for asylum-seekers: 2.5.

(NCVO survey, August 2004).

On Saturday 20 March 1999, a male streaker ran across the set during the draw with the words "the balls decide" written on his chest.

In December 1994, the first rollover jackpot - £17.8m - was won by a single player. The winner wanted to preserve his anonymity, but the pressure to be the first in the press to carry stories from lottery winners led to offers of up to £10,000 to readers who phoned in with their identity. As a sop, Camelot released a limited amount of information about the winner: he was a factory worker with three children who lived in the north of England. More than 30 journalists descended on Blackburn and discovered the winner's identity.

National Lottery awards range from £25 to more than £50m

Some examples:

£35 - to the Patcham Silver Band for repairs

£66 - bursary for a delegate to attend the Media Sales European Cinema Exhibitors Course

£15m - to the National Centre for Popular Music in Sheffield (closed after 16 months)

£53m - to the Eden Project

£92m - to Eastlands SportCity (including City of Manchester Stadium)

£650m - to the Millennium Dome

The New Opportunities Fund was set up by the Government in 1999 to channel lottery money into health, education and environment projects. Ministers denied claims that the fund is being used to replace government spending.

Oldest millionaire: Gracie Vera Coulson, 11 December 1999 - £1,090,387. Age at win: 87.

Youngest millionaire: Tracey Makin, 24 January 1998 - £1,055,171.

Age at win: 16 years 13 days.

"The Lottery, with its weekly pay-out of enormous prizes, was the one public event to which the proles paid serious attention. It was probable that there were some millions of proles for whom the Lottery was the principal if not the only reason for remaining alive. It was their delight, their folly, their anodyne, their intellectual stimulant. Where the Lottery was concerned, even people who could barely read and write seemed capable of intricate calculations and staggering feats of memory."

'Nineteen Eighty-Four', by George Orwell

Doug Wood: the blow-out

Wood, who won £2.65m in September 1996, died in July 2003 on the brink of achieving his two ambitions. One was to visit all of the racecourses in Britain (he was one short); the other was to spend all of his winnings on good causes and friends. By 2003, he was down to his last £80,000.

Iorworth Hoare: the convicted rapist

Hoare, a convicted rapist, won £7m while he was on weekend leave from an open prison in July 2004. Hoare, who was jailed for life in 1989 for attempting to rape a retired teacher, was staying at a bail hostel when he won a one-third share of the £21m jackpot.

Stephanie Powell and Wayne Lawrence: the divorce

The bingo-caller's lottery

numbers came up in October 1999, winning her £7.2m. She and her fiancé Wayne gave up their jobs, bought new cars, holidayed and moved house. But less than a year later, Wayne left her, unable to handle the stress of being rich. "I didn't like being pointed at in the street", he said.

Mark Gardiner: the biggest winner

Gardiner won £22,590,829 with his business partner Paul Maddison on 10 June 1995, the biggest single win to date, but relatives said that he did nothing to help the brother of his partner Brenda McGill, who had multiple sclerosis and needed a motorised wheelchair. They were furious at reports that they had received handouts, so took out a newspaper ad: "Contrary to popular belief, neither I nor any of my family have had any beneficial gain from the good fortune bestowed on Mark Gardiner and Brenda McGill. All the family would greatly appreciate it if onlookers would not assume that our hard-earned possessions are the result of any handouts. The only gratuities received are £20 for caring for their dog for two weeks while they were 'celebrating', and the offer of a tumble-dryer, declined as an insult." Gardiner was unrepentant.