Ex-Camelot boss starts Lotto rival

A rival to the National Lottery is being launched today with the promise that it will give a higher percentage of its takings to charity.

Organisers of the new Monday lottery say punters also have a greater chance of winning prizes than they do with the official Camelot draw.

It is being promoted by Chariot, a company led by Tim Holley, the former chief executive of Camelot.

Seventy British charities have signed up for the draw. Each week five will receive a cut of the proceeds. Initially, tickets can only be bought online but eventually they will be available to buy using a mobile phone or by post.

The new lottery is governed by the Gambling Commission, which means it can only offer a top prize of GBP 200,000. However, Chariot says the odds of winning its jackpot are 27 times higher than with the National Lottery.

Tickets are entered into a first draw with a top prize of GBP 100,000. If they do not win they go through to a second draw with a jackpot of £200,000.

Chariot is not allowed to offer a rollover. So if the jackpot is unclaimed, the prize goes to the customer with the closest winning numbers. The company says the draw gives charities greater freedom to spend the proceeds as they wished.

Mr Holley said: „People want a fairer lottery. We’ve taken three years to develop this and know it will succeed.“

The first draw will be on May 8 at 8pm and at the same time every Monday thereafter.

Chariot says it aims to raise around £150 million for charities each year. Charities signed up to the scheme include Barnados, the British Red Cross, Marie Curie Cancer Care, Shelter, the Samaritans and the Multiple Sclerosis Resource Centre.

Lawrence Wood, the chief executive of the Multiple Sclerosis Resource Centre, said: „Having applied for two National Lottery grants and been rejected for the most minor of reasons after months of preparing our bids, the opportunity now to receive money we really need is amazing and humbling.“

The Treasury is to examine the regulation of television quiz channels following concerns from the Gambling Commission. The move follows the launch of ITV Play, a dedicated quiz station available to viewers with Freeview. Viewers dial premium rate phone numbers for a chance to win cash prizes.

There are around two dozen other dedicated quiz channels on digital television, while ITV broadcasts premium rate quizzes during the night.