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Dismay as lottery ticket price doubles

It could be you but now it’s going to cost you two. That’s one slogan that the National Lottery organisers are unlikely to be using to announce that the price of a ticket is doubling to £2 in the autumn.

If the lottery is, as many claim, a “tax on the poor” then the rate of taxation has increased 100%. Understandably lottery addicts are not impressed and many have said they will not be buying tickets at the higher price. Many were appalled at the rise during a time of recession.

Organisers Camelot drew attention to the rise in value of a prize for matching three numbers, which will more than double to £25. Crtics pointed out that the prize for matching five numbers will halve from the present £1,000 to £500 and the prize for matching five numbers and the bonus ball will halve to £50,000. In effect, the lottery, already statistically weighted hugely against the player, has become twice as expensive with diminishing rewards.

Camelot’s decision to double the cost of a ticket was encouraged by the popularity of the EuroMillions lottery where the jackpots are much larger but the tickets cost £2. The National Lottery Commission was not concerned about the change. Their website statement read "Commissioners were satisfied that the proposal poses no threat to the propriety of the National Lottery, that player protection will be maintained, and that returns to good causes will continue to be maximised."

During the recession takings have been on the increase, with sales up by more than 8% last summer, encouraging opinions that the lottery is popular with the poor and the desperate. Economist Ruth Lea told the Mail: "This is a regressive tax. Lottery players tend to be people on lower incomes who are looking for a bit of glamour and a bit of hope. It is their weekly buzz, and the cost of their weekly buzz is going to double."

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