Below are extracts from Camelot's "Playing In a Group" leaflet, without permission, to help you play the UK National Lottery as part of a lottery syndicate, with the minimum of problems. See also our Top Tips for Lottery Syndicates
Why play as a lottery syndicate?
Playing in a lottery syndicate can increase the fun and excitement of playing The National Lottery. Lottery syndicates can be made up of friends, family or work colleagues. By following a few simple guidelines, playing this way should be easy and enjoyable. For example, let's say you and nine of your friends decide to form a syndicate, putting in £2 a draw each. Instead of your £2 buying one set of six numbers, you'll have an equal share in 10 sets of numbers, giving you 10 times more chances of winning a lottery prize (albeit one tenth of the prize). So if your lottery syndicate won a jackpot of £2,000,000, your share would be £200,000.
How to start a lottery syndicate
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. You should then appoint a manager. This person will be responsible for the running of the lottery syndicate, 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 - the manager. 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. Also remember each member of the Lotto syndicate must be over the age of 16.
You should at this point enter into a written agreement (see below). Not only for the obvious reason of trust on the syndicates part, but also to save your winnings from the tax man.
If there is no agreement and the winner of a prize transfers part of it to others, these gifts may attract Inheritance Tax. If the members of the syndicate 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. 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 .
The Lottery Syndicate Agreement
Before you start to play, you should draw up a lottery syndicate agreement. We suggest that the agreement should include the following:
- The date the lottery syndicate agreement was drawn up.
- The names of the group members.
- The appointed manager's name.
- How the numbers will be selected for each draw.
- How much each lottery syndicate 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.
- What will happen if a member of the group cannot pay.
- If the group has a big win, how the members will decide whether or not they want publicity.
The lottery syndicate agreement must be signed and dated by each group member and should be witnessed. If the group changes, a new agreement should be drawn up. Copies should be given to each member and the original kept in a safe place as the Inland Revenue may require to see it as evidence of the group agreement.Appointing a manager - how to stay friends!
Different lottery syndicate groups will have different views on who they trust to be the manager of their syndicate. After all, the manager will be the one with their name on the cheque. If it is a work syndicate you may automatically put the boss in charge, or the one who has most time at the company. If you run a pub lottery syndicate you may ask the landlord to be the manager. Whatever you decide the most important thing is to get everything down on paper in the lottery syndicate agreement (see above). Money has the ability to change the nicest of people, and that best friend you have known since you were knee high to the local grasshopper may suddenly become your worst enemy when they have a cheque for six million pounds in their hand.
Keep a record of lottery syndicate payments
The manager should keep a written record of who has paid how much and when. You can also obtain signatures at the time of payment if the syndicate is large enough to warrant this.Publicity
Discuss publicity at the time of the lottery syndicate agreement what you will do as a group if your numbers come up. Do all of you want to be splashed across the pages of the tabloids or would you prefer to quietly slink away and spend your cash?Decide on a maximum number to play
The idea of increasing your chances of winning that big prize if ten of you play each month sounds like a good idea - after all, if you win £2,000,000 that's a cool £200,000 each. BUT, double that to 20 players and you are only going to win £100,000! Include even more into the lottery syndicate and you will get to the stage where you can win more money by playing a scratchcard.