Thursday, 19 November 2009

Looking Back - Britain Braced For First Lottery Draw

On this day in 1994, an estimated jackpot of £7m was the top prize, on the night of Britain's first ever lottery draw.
A £1 ticket gave you a one-in-14-million chance of striking lucky and guessing correctly the winning six out of 49 numbers.
The lottery operator Camelot said around 15 million players had already bought some 35 million tickets from licensed retailers.
The money raised from ticket sales was to be used to help fund the arts, sports, charities, national heritage and millennium celebrations.
Prime Minister John Major had launched the ticket sales just under a week earlier.
He said, "The country will be a lot richer because of the lottery. It is in every sense the people's lottery."
The game had certainly gripped the public's imagination. Around seven million tickets were sold within 12 hours of the launch and it was expected that final sales could reach £45m.
Twenty five million people were expected to tune into BBC One's live lottery draw show hosted by Noel Edmonds, Anthea Turner and Gordon Kennedy.
Forty nine contestants - one for each lottery number -had been chosen from thousands to participate in an "It's a Knockout" style competition as part of the show.
The victor to get the chance to press the button on the prize machine, launching Britain's first lottery draw since 1826.
A £10m computer randomly selected the winning numbers that rolled down one by one into a display rack.
The machine then checked for a winning combination and calculated the size of the jackpot.
The computer was to reveal whether there was a top prize winner within half an hour but cross-checking could take as long as four hours.
Telephone staff were waiting to get a call from the winner as soon as the numbers were picked.
Once officials had established that a claim was genuine, a team would drive the winner to the nearest Camelot office.
Noel Edmonds launched the first national lottery draw show.
Seven jackpot winners got around £800,000 each in the first lottery draw.
In its first year £267m of lottery money went to the "good causes" - arts, heritage, millennium and sport - £154m went to charity.
There has been controversy about how lottery money is spent.
In 1996 Prime Minister John Major criticised grants to certain minority groups such as gays; and in 1997 Labour attracted criticism when it introduced the New Opportunities Fund to target one fifth of "good causes" money on government health education and environment programmes.
In 2002 Camelot won another seven-year contract to run the lottery, beating Richard Branson for the tender a second time.
In May 2003 MPs criticised plans to use £1.5bn of Lotto cash to part-fund London's bid for the 2012 Olympics.
Camelot introduced a range of games such as scratchcards, Thunderball and EuroMillions to stem flagging ticket sales.
The National Lottery announced an income of £4.6bn in 2004, representing the first year-on-year growth since 1997.

Funny Signs



Another brainteaser for you today, all to do with Pop Music. Below you will find 8 song titles, all beginning with the letter D. But can you say who sang them?

01 Don't
02 Do they know it's Christmas
03 Do you know the way to San Jose
04 Donald where's your trousers
05 Don't laugh at me
06 Driving in my car
07 Dream lover
08 Diana

Do you know the answer to all eight questions? Answers tomorrow!

Living With Computers

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