It could be you (if your postcode is posh enough)

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The Independent Online

Millionaires are more likely than poorer people to buy Lottery tickets in the hope of winning huge jackpots, according to new research that overturns the conventional wisdom that most tickets are bought by those on benefits and the low paid.

When there is a Lottery rollover, sales of tickets increase most in Kensington, Chelsea and Altrincham, a wealthy suburb of Manchester, says research by the Lottery operator, Camelot.

They also rise sharply in Canary Wharf, home of City banks and law firms where salaries are among the highest in Europe, and in Harrogate, the affluent Yorkshire town. In wealthy areas there is a steep increase in sales too via interactive television or the internet - when it's a rollover.

"Play among ABs is particularly sensitive to the size of the jackpots," said Ben Rosier, for Camelot. "You know the jackpot is building when you see queuing on the streets of Harrogate, Hampstead and Henley on a Friday afternoon. With property prices in those areas going through the roof it's easier for a winner who wishes to remain anonymous to disguise their win."

Wealthy winners are indeed more likely to hide the fact they have won the Lottery, pretending that they have inherited money or received a big bonus at work. They are also more likely to insist on anonymity.

"The impression among the middle classes is that it is people lower down the social scale who win it, but it isn't," said one source close to the Lottery. "It's just that they are less able to disguise their win. If you are a sheet metal worker it's going to be less easy to hide the extra millions than someone who works in the City."

Sales rocketed in wealthy areas for Friday's £64m Euromillions jackpot, according to Tesco. In February when the jackpot reached £125m for the Euromillions game, sales increased most at its Kensington and Chelsea branches.

Around 70 per cent of adults in the UK play the National Lottery regularly and 1,800 millionaires have been created since the game was launched. Birmingham has produced the most millionaires and jackpot winners. But the luckiest place in Britain to buy a Lottery ticket is Essex, with Ilford and Romford producing a higher proportion of winning entries per adult than anywhere else in the country.