Frequently asked questions
As with all new and exciting ventures we expect people to have questions about Health Lottery South West and how it reduces health inequalities in Great Britain.
We have compiled a list of the questions that most frequently came up from our initial consumer research, which we hope will address any aspects of The Health Lottery you feel need clarification.
What is The Health Lottery?
The Health Lottery offers a fixed odds, draw-based game. It is promoted by 12 regional Health CICs, each holding society lottery licences issued by the Gambling Commission, spread across England, Wales and Scotland whose prime objective is to raise funds for health related charities and other good causes organisations working in health. Tickets for The Health Lottery can be purchased from over 24,000 Health Lottery retail outlets all over Great Britain or online at www.healthlottery.co.uk.
Monies raised will not go towards NHS funded services but instead will be directed to areas of health inequalities in local communities.
What is a CIC?
A Community Interest Company (CIC) is a limited company with special additional features, created for the use of people who want to conduct a business or social enterprise solely for community benefit, and not for private advantage. This is achieved by a "community interest test" and an "asset lock" which ensures that the CIC's assets and profits are dedicated to those purposes. Registration of a company as a CIC has to be approved by the CIC Regulator who also has a continuing monitoring and enforcement role.
Why are there 12 Health CICs involved in The Health Lottery?
The Health Lottery is made up of 12 individual Community Interest Companies, or CICs. Each CIC represents certain Local Authority areas within England, Scotland and Wales and during the course of each year they will operate a lottery or lotteries for the benefit of their local communities. They cover the country in broadly equal numbers of people in each area, with some adjustments for local characteristics.
Each month a different CIC raises money through The Health Lottery scheme. They then donate money to support health related good causes within their respective local areas.
Working together keeps our costs down so we can allocate bigger sums of funding to local health related good causes and also means that, unlike other lotteries, every single part of Great Britain gets a share of the funds raised. This will play an important part in achieving our goal of tackling health inequalities.
How old do I need to be to play The Health Lottery?
If you are playing The Health Lottery online, you need to be 18 or over.
If you are playing The Health Lottery instore, you need to be 16 or over.
It is a criminal offence for any person under 16 to play The Health Lottery. We believe in ensuring our lottery is run in a socially responsible way. We work to protect those who are vulnerable, such as people on low incomes, or who may have a gambling problem, or children under 16. There are a number ways in which we discourage excessive or underage lottery playing.
Each Community Interest Company is licensed and regulated by the Gambling Commission and has a regulatory obligation to adhere to the requirements of the Gambling Act 2005, Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice.
We always comply with the relevant codes of practice and never target vulnerable people or those under 16.
We are firm supporters of GambleAware and GamCare - the UK's leading providers of information and support for the prevention and treatment of problem gambling to help protect players, and offer practical advice to promote happy, responsible play.
Whilst we're committed to ensuring our lottery participants play responsibly, we also encourage you to make sure your gambling is appropriate to your circumstances.
Who or what is People's Health Trust?
People's Health Trust is the registered charity responsible for the distribution of funds raised by the Health CICs through their participation in The Health Lottery. It is the body in charge of overseeing the grants process; ensuring bids for funds meet agreed criteria for funding and delivering the funds to successful applicants. It operates independently of The Health Lottery and the Health CICs. However, it is dependent on the Lottery for funds and has to be subject to some controls by the Health CICs, such as in relation to where the funds are spent. The People's Health Trust Board of Trustees is a Board of independent experts who decide on the best way of making the funds work effectively for tackling health inequalities in the community whose lottery raised these funds.
How does 25p of my money get to a health related charity?
When you buy a ticket for The Health Lottery, at least 25 pence of every £1 ticket is donated by the participating Health CIC to People's Health Trust, the partner charity established to distribute these donations by way of grants to health related good causes in the particular Health CIC area promoted by that lottery. To find out which causes have been supported in your area, click here.
What type of health-related causes does The Health Lottery support?
Money raised through The Health Lottery supports groups or communities that experience or are likely to experience poorer than average health or wellbeing and shorter than average life expectancy. These are initiatives that are not supported by NHS funding. Examples of projects and charities which may be supported by these funds include holidays for young carers, improving elderly fitness, tackling childhood obesity, healthy eating campaigns, volunteering, preventative measures to combat cancer, coronary heart disease and strokes and many others.
How is my £1 spent?
25.50% of every lottery ticket, QuickWin game and online scratch card purchased is donated by Health South West CIC to People’s Health Trust. In 2021, 24.68% was spent on prizes, 49.82% was spent on expenses and the annual proceeds from the lottery was £1.7million. The odds of winning the jackpot is 1 in 2.1M and the odds of winning any prize is 1 in 9.7. The winning numbers are selected using an approved lottery ball machine except in exceptional circumstances when an approved random number generator (RNG) may be used, (during Covid19 lockdown for example). The QuickWin game is determined by an RNG. The odds of winning a jackpot is 1 in 2.1M and the odds of winning any prize is 1 in 6. Scratchcards have odds of winning attached to each game, with each Jackpot found in the terms and conditions on The Health Lottery Website. More information can be found on The Health Lottery website.
Can I choose which charity my 25 pence goes to?
The grant-making process is determined by our partner charity, People's Health Trust. Local needs and requirements are taken fully into account, and every region in Great Britain will benefit. The entire process is transparent and The Health Lottery players can find out which areas have benefited, and when, through the People's Health Trust website.
How will I know where the 25p charity contribution of my £1 ticket goes?
When you buy a ticket for The Health Lottery at least 25p from every £1 ticket is used to support good causes. The Health Lottery is operated under a single brand but each ticket has the name of the Health CIC on whose behalf each lottery is promoted. Players can find out which area this Health CIC relates to here or by obtaining a copy of the Health Lottery Terms & Conditions which lists all the Health CICs and the regions they support, and which organisations and good causes have benefited through the People's Health Trust website.
Can I choose which Health CIC I enter my lottery ticket for?
No. But every month, a Health CIC takes its turn to promote their lotteries in a number of draws. By buying a ticket, you will be improving the health of people who live in that Health CIC areas; in the same way your Health CIC area will benefit when its turn comes to participate in the draw with players throughout Great Britain buying tickets for your Health CIC draw.
What is the CIC regulator?
The CIC Regulator has a monitoring and enforcement role in ensuring that each Community Interest Company (CIC) adheres to the very strict regulations and guidelines laid down in company law. The Regulator ensures that funds raised by a CIC are used for the purposes for which the CIC was established.
In the case of the 12 Health CICs which operate within The Health Lottery, the Regulator will check that funds raised by each Health CIC are used by charities and other health related bodies only within the area in which the Health CIC is authorised to operate.
How do I find my local Health CIC?
Click here and you will find a map of Great Britain which will help you locate the name of which Health CIC operates in your local area. Then click the name of that Health CIC in the list next to the map, and you will be taken to the corresponding website.
Can I find out when my local Health CIC has a lottery?
All 12 Health CICs, participating in The Health Lottery, take it in turns to promote their Society Lottery in the weekly draw. Visit your local Health Lottery retailer, log onto The Health Lottery website for details of the Health CICs open in the current week, or call The Health Lottery contact centre on 0844 375 55 55. Calls to The Health Lottery will be charged at 5p per minute from a BT landline. Charges from other service providers will vary.
How can I help support my Health CIC's causes?
If you wish to comment upon the work which your Health CIC undertakes, or perhaps suggest new ideas for improving health inequality issues in your area, please contact us by email at the address shown on the "contact" page of this website here.
What is the Gambling Commission?
The Gambling Commission was set up under the Gambling Act 2005 to regulate gambling in Great Britain in partnership with licensing authorities. It is an independent non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and paid for by the organisations and individuals licensed by them.
They permit gambling and, through effective regulation and public engagement, ensure that crime is kept out of gambling; that gambling is fair and open; and that children and the vulnerable are protected. They license operators and individuals providing gambling services in Great Britain.
Why does the CIC need a licence and for what?
The Gambling Act 2005 requires that all organisations and societies, including CICs which operate a lottery, must be licensed by The Gambling Commission or a Local Authority. All 12 Health CICs operating within The Health Lottery are fully licensed by the Gambling Commission.
Tackling health inequalities