How To Run A UK National Lottery Syndicate
The following text is reproduced without permission from the
Playing In A Group leaflet available at National
Lottery retailers. It's amusing to note that "syndicate" is a dirty word -
the leaflet uses "group" almost everywhere instead.
I've put my own additional comments inside [ ] delimiters.
Improve Your Chance Of Winning The National Lottery
Playing in a group can increase the fun and excitement of playing The
National Lottery. Groups can be made up of friends, family or work colleagues.
It's a great way of playing The National Lottery and by following a few simple
guidelines, playing should be easy and enjoyable.
For example, let's say you and nine of your friends [if you have that many]
decide to form a group, putting in £1 a draw each. Instead of your £1
buying one set of six numbers, you'll have an equal share in ten sets of
numbers, giving you ten times more chances of winning a prize [not strictly
correct - it gives you ten times more chances of winning the jackpot.
There's up to 11 duplicate numbers in the 60 numbers picked]. So if your
group won a jackpot of £2,000,000, your share would be £200,000.
The first thing you must do when setting up a group is to decide who's going
to be in it, how much they're going to pay for each draw and the corresponding
percentage share of any prize.
It's a good idea to appoint a manager [essential more like !]. This
person will be responsible for the running of the group, purchasing the tickets
and the collection and division of the winnings.
Under The National Lottery Game Rules, a prize on a winning ticket is payable
to one person only: this should, we suggest, be the manager of the group
[make sure that person is very trustworthy]. The manager should write
their name and address on the back of the tickets and keep them safe. It will
be that person's responsibility to share out the winnings with the other
members of the group.
If there is no [written] agreement and the winner of a prize transfers part
of it to others, these gifts may attract Inheritance Tax. If the members of
the group can prove that the distribution of the prize was made in accordance
with a group agreement entered into before the win, no liability to
Inheritance Tax will arise [effectively this means you need a written
agreement]. It is important to note that Inland Revenue law and practice may
change, the comments on Inheritance Tax are based on our understanding of
Inland Revenue practice as of November 1994 [sadly, there's nothing else
about Inheritance Tax e.g. Is there a personal allowance ? What's the tax
rate (40%) ? etc.].
Your Group Agreement
When you've decided who's going to be in the group and before you start to
play, you should draw up a group agreement. We suggest that the agreement
should include the following:
[There's now a example of a "Group Playing Agreement", but it originally failed
to include several of the above items, particularly the group manager's name,
so I've included them]
- The date the agreement was drawn up.
- The names of the group members.
- The appointed manager's name.
- How the numbers will be selected for each draw [i.e. random or constant and
whether each member can pick their own numbers].
- How much each member will pay per draw and the corresponding percentage
share of any prize.
- What happens if a member fails to pay their contribution at any time
[i.e. either they get nothing for that draw if there's a win or they get a
percentage of what they would normally get and the rest is shared appropriately
amongst the other members].
- If the group has a big win, how the members will decide whether or not
they want publicity.
GROUP PLAYING AGREEMENT
The Name Of The Group: _______________________________________________
Member's Weekly % Of Date Signature
Name Contribution (£) Prizes
[One line per member]
Witness' Signature: ________________ Name: ________________________
Occupation: ________________________ Date: ___________________ 199_
SPECIFIC GROUP ARRANGEMENTS
[You need to list the manager's name, how the numbers will be selected,
the payment failure contingency plan and how publicity will be handled
(either individual consent or as a group)]
Key Points To Remember
- The agreement must be signed and dated by each group member and should be
witnessed by, we suggest, a solicitor, doctor or someone of similar standing.
- If the group changes, a new agreement should be drawn up [a right pain
this one - even if the draw payments change, you need a new agreement !].
- Copies should be given to each member and the original kept in a safe
place [perhaps with the independent witness ?], as the Inland Revenue may
require to see it as evidence of the group agreement.
How To Play In A Group
There are two ways for your group to play The National Lottery: Weekly or
Multi-Draw [I guess a subscription could also be possible, but fiddly because
it stupidly only allows a max of 2 sets of numbers for a min of 26 draws !].
For each draw, the manager should take the group's completed playslips to the
retailer and pay for them to be entered into the draw.
To make running your group easier, you may like to play the same numbers each
draw. A multi-draw allows you to play the same numbers each draw for up to
sixteen draws [was originally eight in the leaflet, but that was released
before the Wednesday draw started]. Simply tick the appropriate box in the
column marked 'Number of Draws' on the playslip; this will ensure the group's
numbers are automatically entered for the chosen number of draws.
Running A Group
- Collecting money from the group
Whether members pay their money on the day of the draw or in advance, a record
should be kept of who's paid what so everybody knows where they stand.
Remember: It's a good idea to decide what you are going to do if one of
the members of the group can't pay for a particular draw. Get this clear from
the start, just in case the situation arises.
- Buying your tickets
The manager will be responsible for purchasing the tickets. Before this can
be done, playslips must be completed with the group's numbers. Each set of
numbers will cost £1 per draw. Playslips should be taken to a National
Lottery retailer who will give you your lottery tickets which record your
numbers and the draw date(s) for which they're entered.
Your tickets should be kept safe as they will be required to claim a prize.
It's important that the manager writes his/her name and address on the
tickets. You may like to make a photocopy of the ticket(s) for each of your
group's members [hmmm...if the manager has to do that for each draw, then maybe
he/she shouldn't be trusted with the job of group manager in the first place !].
- Look out for the winning numbers
Winning numbers will be broadcast every
Saturday evening on BBC 1 and Radio 1.
They will also be available in national newspapers and clearly displayed in
all National Lottery retailers.
Remember: Winnings should be collected by your manager and shared out
according to your group agreement.
Things To Remember
The National Lottery does not encourage entries made by or on behalf of
commercial and advertised syndicates and is
not liable to make payments of any prize on a ticket which it knows or
suspects has been resold or otherwise transferred by way of trade. There is
no facility for [the] bulk purchase of tickets.
Each group member must be 16 years or over to play The National Lottery.
A summary of the Player Code Of Practice is on display at all National Lottery
In the event of any discrepancy between this leaflet and the Games Rules and
Procedures, the Games Rules and Procedures apply.
We hope these guidelines are useful [just about - they're more useful with
my comments included !]. They are, though, given without legal liability on
our part and we would advise you to consider having a solicitor prepare the
form of agreement [how many people really would do that, complete with
solicitor fees probably exceeding the first year's winnings :-) ].
[Further information on syndicates is available from
although I in no way endorse this company or its policy of selling syndicate
forms for £5...]