The UK National Lottery Midweek Draw
On Wednesday 23rd October 1996, Camelot confirmed that they had been
given permission by Oflot (the lottery regulator) to hold a second UK
National Lottery draw each Wednesday. The first such draw was on
Wednesday 5th February 1997 and the following information is reproduced
without permission from the "Midweek Draw" page in Camelot's Fact File
booklet released during November 1996 and my comments are enclosed in
How It Will Work
The format and prize structure is exactly the same as the Saturday game -
players choose 6 numbers from 49 and can also play by
Draws take place every Wednesday
evening in addition to Saturday, are broadcast on BBC 1 TV
and there's usually a different regular host for the Wednesday show compared
to the Saturday show. A new
playslip has been introduced to allow players to pick
which draw(s) they wish to enter - Saturday only, Wednesday only or both
What It Takes To Launch The Midweek Draw
- Developing sophisticated lottery computer software to handle an additional
14 million plays every week.
- Printing 250 million new playslips.
- Over 100,000 hours of specialist training for around 24,000 on-line retail
- An estimated 25,000 additional enquiries to The National Lottery
Line [0645 100 000] each week.
- An estimated 32,000 enquiries to the Retailer Hotline during launch week.
- 5 million player information leaflets produced and distributed to
- Dispatching 460,000 parcels to retailers.
- Massive TV and radio ad campaign.
- 3,000 posters and 24,000 items of point of sale material.
Notes [from me]:
- Over 100 lotteries
around the world run a second weekly draw.
- The vast majority of lotteries around the world have opted for the second
draw to be on a Wednesday and maintain the same format as the main draw.
- Lotto 4/5 of Stichting De Nationale Sporttolalisator (sic ?) in the
Netherlands has five draws a month on Saturdays and one on Wednesday if there
are only four Saturdays in a month.
- Singapore's Totto lottery has two draws a week which are held on Monday
- It's difficult to precise about this, but Camelot have estimated that
a typical jackpot pool will be £4m for the midweek draw and about
£8m for the Saturday draw.
- If a jackpot is unwon, it is rolled over to the next draw.
Hence, an unwon jackpot for a Saturday draw would be rolled over to following
Wednesday's draw and ditto for an unwon Wednesday jackpot, which would be
rolled over to the following Saturday's draw.
- The Labour Party wanted the midweek
draw to use the numbers 51 to 99 instead of Saturday's 1 to 49 numbers. This
would prevent people from being encouraged to play the Wednesday draw to cover their
"lucky numbers" in both draws, but does lead to some problems (a different
playslip, a change in central computer software and 10 new sets of balls spring
to mind). Also, what's to stop someone adding 50 to their numbers for the
midweek draw, although I doubt many people would think of doing that...
- Tickets for the midweek draw went on sale on Thursday 30th January 1997 and
the same day also saw the release of
a new How To Play leaflet
to cover this new midweek draw.
- The first midweek draw (Lottery #117)
on Wednesday 5th February 1997 was a
Super Draw with a guaranteed £10m jackpot pool,
although it was rounded down by £1 because there were 3 winners.
It was launched with a
"Winsday" firework display over the River Thames, started by Barbara Windsor
and Tim Holley (Camelot's chief executive). The Sun newspaper gave away all 5
million of its copies for free on the launch day, thanks to an 8-page lottery
supplement paid for by Camelot.