Sport Andre Greipel takes victory on the Tour Down Under

Andre Greipel won his 15th career Tour Down Under stage as he burst to victory in a bunch sprint over the final 600 metres of stage four.

Cassey Carrington and Matt Topham, from Stapleford in Nottingham, banked a staggering total of £45,160,170.50 after matching five numbers and two Lucky Stars

Couple celebrate £45m lottery win

A young couple who won a lottery jackpot of more than £45 million have said there is a “lucky vibe” in Nottinghamshire after they became the second couple from the county to bank the prize in less than a month.

Joey Barton backs a children's reading campaign

Barton advises children to get their teeth into Dracula

Joey Barton's love of Bram Stoker's Dracula and Paul Scharner's recommendation of The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas stand out in a list of Premier League footballers' favoured reads. The recommendations – which cover a children's book as well as a read for adults, leading Theo Walcott to recommend T.J. and the Hat-Trick, by... Theo Walcott – have been made as part of the Premier League Reading Stars programme.

One winner scoops £4.4 million Lotto jackpo

One ticketholder scooped the £4.4m jackpot in Saturday's National Lottery draw, Camelot said.

UK ticket holder wins £41m EuroMillions jackpot‎

A possible winner of nearly £41 million in last night's EuroMillions draw has come forward, Camelot said today.

Sophie Heawood: After the turkey, we gobbled down our principles

It's a clever thing that this Queen of ours does, handing out her honours as Christmas podges into New Year, December yawns into January, and a new year beckons us with its cold and merciless eyes. If ever there was a time of year when republicanism is doomed to fail, this is it. If I were the monarchy, I'd scrap those trifling birthday honours in June altogether, and make it all about 1 January. Doomsday.

Record year for lottery payouts

Hundreds of lottery winners claimed a total of £720 million in a record year for bumper payouts, the National Lottery has said.

One winner scoops £4.4m Lotto prize

One lucky winner scooped Saturday's Lotto jackpot of £4.4 million, Camelot said.

Camelot jackpot as Lottery sales hit a record £3.2bn

Cash-strapped families across Britain are increasingly putting their faith in winning a bumper jackpot, as sales of National Lottery tickets hit record highs.

Lottery payouts hit record levels

National Lottery operator Camelot has paid out record amounts to prize winners and good causes after its draws and scratchcards surged in popularity.

Health Lottery faces inquiry over claims it hurts charities

Culture Secretary says Richard Desmond's flashy new lottery could create more harm than good

Terence Blacker: Our weekly collusion in a moral scam

And finally, here was an item of news to bring a smile to the nation's lips after a succession of stories about falling incomes, rising costs of living, inflation and spiralling unemployment. Someone had just been awarded a huge, unearned bonus of more than £101m. The word "bonus" was not, of course, used. Had the money been paid to a banker or chief executive, it would have been reported at the business end of the news, accompanied by furrowed brows and disapproving soundbites.

Desmond's Lottery will do more harm than good, say charities

The Health Lottery will give 20p from each ticket to good causes, compared to the National Lottery's 28p. Mr Desmond says he will donate at least £50m a year to health charities

Olympics tickets in Lottery game

Sports fans who missed out on Olympic tickets are being given a second chance thanks to a new Lottery game.

Tour de France: Thor Hushovd claims second stage win

World champion Thor Hushovd today claimed his second stage win of the 2011 Tour de France with victory in a sprint finish in Gap.

At the third stroke, the speaking clock will be 75 years old, precisely

And, to mark the occasion, some other familiar voices are stepping out of their recording booths
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there