People’s Postcode Lottery
The People’s Postcode Lottery operates in Scotland, England and Wales and is not to be confused with the regional UK Postcode Lottery, operating only in North East England. It is a subscription lottery based on postcode and run by an international operator of different charity lotteries based in The Netherlands, Novamedia.
Novamedia introduced the first Postcode Lottery in The Netherlands in 1989. The success of the format led to the introduction of four more lotteries. There are now three lotteries in The Netherlands alone (Vrienden Loterij, BankGiroLoterij and Nationale Postcode Loterij) and one in each Sweden (Svenska Postkod Lotteried) and Great Britain. As of 2014, players of these lotteries have raised over €5 Billion for charities all over the world.
Where does the money go?
In 2005, the People’s Postcode Lottery started to sell tickets in the North of England in order to find out whether lottery players are interested in such a subscription based lottery or not. The lottery was successful to such an extent that it already expanded into Scotland in 2007 and Wales in 2010. The main goal of the lottery is to raise money for charitable organisations around the world; therefore 25% from every £2 ticket goes to good causes. As of February 2014, players of the Postcode lottery have raised over £36.9 Million, making Novamedia BV the second largest private charity donor in the world. The Postcode Lottery supports a variety of charities, for example:
- WWF Scotland
- Woodland Trust
- Children 1ST
- Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres
- The National Galleries Scotland
Where to play
Because the Postcode Lottery is a subscription lottery, there is no such thing as buying a lottery ticket online or at a store or picking lucky numbers comparable to other lotteries. You only have to sign up online or via the free phone number and pay a monthly fee depending on how many tickets you want to purchase. Payment methods are:
- Credit or Debit Card
- Direct Debit
There is a fee of 50p for paying with PayPal, Credit or Debit Card.
Every citizen of Great Britain with the age of 16 or older is allowed to play the lottery. Because you have to sign up using your respective postcode, it is impossible for people outside Great Britain to play the lottery.
Each lottery ticket costs £2 per draw and you pay £10 in advance for five monthly drawings. If you do not want to participate anymore, it is possible to cancel at any time. As said before, you do not pick any numbers, but instead the lottery ticket comes with your postcode. Purchasing more than one lottery ticket does not affect your chances of winning in the lottery. Instead, it increases the amount of money you can win, because prizes are awarded per ticket. There is a daily chance to win prizes, so it is recommended to check the results of the draw on a regular basis. If required, the lottery company sends out emails to inform about possible prizes.
People’s Postcode Lottery prizes
The maximum prize a single ticket can win in the People’s Postcode Lottery is £400,000 or 10% of the proceeds of the respective draw due to Gambling Act restrictions 2005. There are prizes on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Three times a year there is a special European Postcode Million draw were Postcode Lottery winners receive a share of a £3.2 Million jackpot. The Postcode Million draw is held in February, March, May, June, August, September, October and December with a jackpot of £2 Million.
Monthly prizes include:
- £100,000 shared between all players in the winning postcode
- £5,000 Dream Holidays for several winners in one postcode
- Key to a BMW X1 Series for one lucky winner
Daily prizes include:
- £1,000 for every winning ticket from Monday to Friday
- £25,000 for every winning ticket in the Saturday Street Prize
- £10 for each ticket in 5,000 winning postcodes
Chances of winning the lottery
The chances of winning a prize in the Postcode Lottery are neither influenced by the number of people playing nor the amount of lottery tickets you buy. By purchasing more than one ticket you only increase the possible amount of cash prizes. That is due to the fact that every player in your postcode area has the exact same number on his lottery ticket as you. If for example the alphanumeric postal code SE1 3LX is drawn, every lottery ticket in this particular postcode area in East London wins a prize. Players in possession of multiple tickets win a prize for each ticket.
The amount of money you get in case you win The Postcode Million draw can be influenced in an additional way. You automatically earn loyalty points by starting to play the lottery, these so called Postcode Million Points accumulate the longer you participate. The player with the most points wins the biggest share with a maximum of £400,000 or 10% of the draws proceed. The Postcode Million Points are reset on 1 January of every year.
The Postcode Lottery’s draw calendar
Since you can win prizes on a daily basis there is unfortunately no TV show or stream on the internet to watch these draws live. But you can find the current Postcode Lottery results easily on the official website of the lottery. The results of the Daily Prize draw are updated every day from Monday to Friday. The Street Prize draws take place every Saturday, Postcode Million and European Postcode Million draws at the end of the month. Furthermore, there are draws for the £5,000 Dream Holiday, the BMW X1 Series and £100,000 prizes. The ticket you pay for £10 a month automatically plays in every draw.
Celebrity representatives of the lottery
A various amount of ambassadors represent the People’s Postcode Lottery, athletes like Dame Ellen MacArthur and Mark Beaumont as well as TV stars like Aggie MacKenzie or Colin McCredie. The ambassadors’ job is it also to visit the winners of Saturday’s Street Prize draws and hand them over their cheques. They are furthermore most welcome guests on the Postcode Million events and presenters of the different campaigns of the lottery.
In order to play the People’s Postcode Lottery, you have to be at least 16 years old and currently living in England, Scotland or Wales. Inhabitants of Northern Ireland or the Isle of Men are unfortunately not allowed to participate. Due to the fact, that you have to register using a valid postcode of Great Britain, it is not possible to play the lottery over the internet from another country. If you play the People’s Postcode Lottery in a betting pool you should determine how the prize money is split as soon as you buy the ticket or tickets to prevent disputes from arising.
A comparison to the Health Lottery
First of all, the People’s Postcode Lottery and the Health Lottery are two different kinds of lotteries. While you only pay your monthly £10 subscription fee at the Postcode Lottery and wait for your postcode to be drawn, you have to actively pick your lucky numbers at the Health Lottery. There are also a lot more draws at the Postcode Lottery than at the Health Lottery and therefore more chances to win. By purchasing different lines of numbers at the Health Lottery you can increase your chances of winning a prize. If you do the same thing at the Postcode Lottery, you in fact do not increase your chances of winning, but multiply the amount of money, if your postcode is drawn. The Health Lottery donates about 20.3% of the proceeds to charitable organisations, the Postcode Lottery exactly 50p of every £2 lottery ticket. Playing the Postcode Lottery every week of the year costs £120 and therefore slightly more than buying one line of numbers on every Wednesday’s and Saturday’s draw of the Health Lottery. Depending on the exact number of draws, this would cost you about £100 to £110.
The highest possible jackpot at the Health Lottery is £100,000. It can be won on every Saturday’s draw but is split amongst all winners. The jackpot on Wednesday is 10% of the week’s proceeds at most. At the Postcode Lottery you have the daily chance to win four-figure amounts of money, but only six to ten chances a year of winning a really high jackpot. The maximum amount of money a single ticket (not a single player) can win is £400,000. Therefore also the Million Prizes and European Million prizes have to be split up amongst several players.
The odds of winning a prize in the Health Lottery range from 1 in 224 with three matching numbers to 1 in 2.1 Million with five matching numbers, but you can increase your chances by purchasing multiple lines. This is not possible in the Postcode Lottery, because every postcode area is represented evenly often in the lottery pool. Buying multiple tickets only increases the amount of money you can win.
The Postcode Lottery’s draws take place daily with bigger events on the weekends. Draws of The Health Lottery can be watch on Channel 5 on Wednesday and Saturday at 9.55pm.
If you are not into picking numbers week for week, but still want a continuous chance of winning moderately high amounts of money, it might be the best for you to sign up at the People’s Postcode Lottery. If you want to play the lottery in a more active way, than only paying £10 once a month and waiting for good things to happen, The Health Lottery is most recommendable. Here you can pick your personal lucky numbers and increase your odds by playing more lines. Due to the fact that both lotteries donate money to charitable organisations, you automatically do something good by playing any of these two lotteries.