National Lottery

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:59 am on 6th March 1992.

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Photo of Mr Kenneth Baker Mr Kenneth Baker , Mole Valley 10:59 am, 6th March 1992

As the hon. Gentleman is a lottery punter —I did not know that he engaged in the Florida state lottery—he knows how they work and he has been lucky enough to win something. The odds are quite strongly against winning. I would expect a large number of medical charities to be among the beneficiaries of a lottery, just as charities for disabled people, for education and for charitable projects that help health activities generally will be.

The prize will depend on the stake, which is envisaged to be 50p or £1. It is for the lottery contractors to determine that. The White Paper deals with whether there should be a maximum. We are disinclined to set a maximum, but that will be a matter for the lottery operators and contractors to decide. Lord Rothschild said in his report in 1978 that there should be a maximum prize of £500,000—in current day money £1·5 million. Only the other week the prize for the pools exceeded £2 million. It is for the lottery operator to decide how to distribute prizes and how much they should be.