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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.

Getting Started

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]
                      GROUP PLAYING AGREEMENT

The Name Of The Group: _______________________________________________

Member's         Weekly           % Of        Date     Signature
 Name        Contribution (£)    Prizes

[One line per member]

Witness' Signature: ________________    Name: ________________________
Address: _____________________________________________________________
Occupation: ________________________    Date: ___________________ 199_


[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

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 !].

Running A Group

  1. 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.

  2. 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 !].

  3. Look out for the winning numbers
    Winning numbers will be broadcast every Wednesday and 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 retailers.

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 Before-the-Event Ltd., although I in no way endorse this company or its policy of selling syndicate forms for £5...]

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© Richard K. Lloyd & Connect Internet Solutions Limited  2023