A new lottery offering a £20,000 jackpot prize is set to be launched by Mendip District Council to help fund voluntary and community groups active in the district.
The decision to prepare the way for the launch of the Shape Mendip Lottery was taken by the council’s Cabinet at its recent meeting on 11 July.
It is hoped that the new lottery, which will be based on successful models used elsewhere in the country, will generate additional funds for such organisations and the projects they deliver locally.
The Shape Mendip Lottery will be online and the draw will take place weekly. For each £1 ticket bought, 60% of the ticket price will go to support community groups throughout the district, though there will also be an option for players to support a specific organisation, and 20% will go to prizes. No money will go to the council.
Players of the Shape Mendip Lottery will choose six numbers. To win the jackpot, the ticket must match both the numbers and the sequence they are drawn in. Players can win smaller prizes if their ticket matches the sequence of the first or last two, three, four or five numbers drawn.
Cllr Philip Ham, Portfolio Holder for Transformation, said: “Historically, the council has provided substantial financial support for voluntary and community groups in the district. We currently distribute around £180,000 a year to these groups, as well as £650,000 over the last three years through our Local Legacy Fund.
“However, we are facing unprecedented financial challenges in the current economic climate and in recent years we have reduced the number and size of grants we give to voluntary and community groups.
“We want to continue supporting the voluntary and community sector and hope that the lottery will enable local organisations to raise money themselves or through a new grant scheme.”
Before the lottery can be established, Mendip will have to apply to the Gambling Commission for a license. An External Lottery Manager will be appointed to run the lottery.
There is an estimated one-off £3,000 contribution towards marketing the lottery in the first year, after which the lottery will cost the council approximately £1,000 a year for licensing and administration costs.
It is hoped the lottery can begin operating from November 2016.