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National Lottery Set To Launch Annuity Game

National Lottery Set To Launch Annuity Game
Updated: Wednesday 4th July 2018

The National Lottery is set to launch an annuity game in 2019, offering players the chance to win up to £10,000 per month for the rest of their lives instead of the one-off lump sum that existing lottery games offer.

“We Want to Get New People into The Game”

All current National Lottery prizes are paid as a lump sum, meaning jackpot winners in EuroMillions and Lotto, for example, don’t have a choice of how they would like to receive their winnings. However, a radical shake-up could see a brand new game introduced, which will offer players regular payments over a set period of time.

The plans have been put forward in a bid to attract new players, after a reduction in ticket sales over the past few years. Ticket sales fell by 3.2 percent between March and September 2017, with the money raised for good causes also falling by 4.7 percent over the same period.

The ground-breaking new annuity game is set to be introduced alongside the National Lottery’s existing games and won’t act as a replacement for the likes of Lotto, EuroMillions, or Thunderball. It is hoped the game will appeal to “the growing numbers of players who dream of long-term financial security rather than big jackpots.”

Nigel Railton, who was appointed chief executive of Camelot in November 2017, explained to the press: “We want to get new people into the game. Our research tells us that more people these days want financial security. The younger generation are finding it difficult to get on the housing ladder and they want prizes that help with this.”

There is also talk of allowing players to purchase lottery tickets for National Lottery games from self checkout machines within discount supermarkets such as Aldi and Lidl. This discussion follows the introduction of the Tuesday Thunderball game back in January 2018, targeting players “who value smaller, more frequent wins”.

Success of Annuity Games in USA and Australia

Annuity lottery games are hugely popular in countries like the United States, where top prizes paying $10,000 a month for life are common. In Cash4Life, players can win $1,000 a day for life if they match all five numbers plus the Cash Ball, and $1,000 each week for life if they match all five numbers without the Cash Ball.

Some lotteries, such as Canada’s Gagnant a Vie and Lucky for Life in the US, offer winners the choice between a lump sum payment or annuity payouts. Lucky for Life players can guarantee themselves $1,000 a day for life by matching all five numbers and the Lucky Ball, whilst $25,000 a year for life can be theirs for matching five main numbers without the Lucky Ball.

Michigan resident Bhavik Patel was one winner who had to make a choice between annuity payments or a lump sum after matching all five numbers in the Lucky for Life draw on 23rd April. The 29-year-old opted for $25,000 a year for the rest of his life over a one-off payment worth $390,000. He said: “Knowing I can count on this for the rest of my life gives me such a sense of security.”

Set For Life has also become a hugely popular annuity game in Australia, with ticket holders entering the daily draw in a bid to win AU$20,000 per month for 20 years.

Benefits of Smaller, Long-Term Payments

It can be a challenge for jackpot winners to come to terms with their newfound wealth, and some players struggle to cope with readjusting back into the real world following a big lottery win. Around ten UK millionaires have reportedly spent all their winnings since 1994, including Pete Kyle from Plymouth, who scooped over £5 million in a Lotto draw 2005. Kyle was rumoured to have spent all his winnings on extravagant cars and holidays, living the life of luxury that many lottery players dream of.

Although annuity games don’t offer the big one-off jackpots available in the likes of EuroMillions or Lotto, they can provide a steady source of income for winners who find reassurance knowing they are going to receive a set sum of money each month. Winners cannot spend their money all at once, which is one of the main advantages of playing an annuity lottery. The prize also stays at the same amount for every draw, unlike EuroMillions and Lotto, for example, where the top prize available automatically resets following a jackpot win.

18-year-old Charlie Lagarde was a Gagnant a Vie jackpot winner in March of this year, and had to choose between annuity payments or a one-off lump sum. After much deliberation, she opted to receive C$1,000 (£575) a week for the rest of her life instead of a one-off payment worth C$1 million (approximately £575,000). It is not yet known whether the National Lottery’s new annuity game would offer both payment options to the jackpot winner or just the annuity.

Which Would You Choose?

If you had the option of annuity payments or a one-off lump sum, which would you choose? Let us know on Twitter!

Published: Tuesday 3rd July 2018

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