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Lottery Syndicates

Why play as a syndicate?

Playing in a group can increase the fun and excitement of playing The National Lottery. Groups can be made up of friends, family or work colleagues. It's a great way of playing The National Lottery and by following a few simple guidelines, playing should be easy and enjoyable. For example, let's say you and nine of your friends decide to form a group, putting in £1 a draw each. Instead of your £1 buying one set of six numbers, you'll have an equal share in ten sets of numbers, giving you ten times more chances of winning a prize. So if your group won a jackpot of £2,000,000, your share would be £200,000.

How to start a syndicate.

The first thing you must do when setting up a group is to decide who's going to be in it, how much they're going to pay for each draw and the corresponding percentage share of any prize. You should then appoint a manager. This person will be responsible for the running of the group, purchasing the tickets and the collection and division of the winnings. Under The National Lottery Game Rules, a prize on a winning ticket is payable to one person only - the manager. The manager should write their name and address on the back of the tickets and keep them safe. It will be that person's responsibility to share out the winnings with the other members of the group. Also remember each member of the syndicate must be over the age of 16.

You should at this point enter into a written agreement (see below). Not only for the obvious reason of trust on the syndicates part, but also to save your winnings from the tax man.

If there is no agreement and the winner of a prize transfers part of it to others, these gifts may attract Inheritance Tax. If the members of the group can prove that the distribution of the prize was made in accordance with a group agreement entered into before the win, no liability to Inheritance Tax will arise. It is important to note that Inland Revenue law and practice may change, the comments on Inheritance Tax are based on our understanding of Inland Revenue practice as of November 1994 .

The Group Agreement

Before you start to play, you should draw up a group agreement. We suggest that the agreement should include the following:

The date the agreement was drawn up.
The names of the group members.
The appointed manager's name.
How the numbers will be selected for each draw.
How much each member will pay per draw and the corresponding percentage share of any prize.
What happens if a member fails to pay their contribution at any time.
What will happen if a member of the group cannot pay.
If the group has a big win, how the members will decide whether or not they want publicity.

The agreement must be signed and dated by each group member and should be witnessed. If the group changes, a new agreement should be drawn up. Copies should be given to each member and the original kept in a safe place as the Inland Revenue may require to see it as evidence of the group agreement.

Appointing a manager - how to stay friends!

Different groups will have different views on who they trust to be the manager of their syndicate. After all, the manager will be the one with their name on the cheque. If it is a work syndicate you may automatically put the boss in charge, or the one who has most time at the company. If you run a pub syndicate you may ask the landlord to be the manager. Whatever you decide the most important thing is to get everything down on paper in the agreement (see above). Money has the ability to change the nicest of people, and that best friend you have known since you were knee high to the local grasshopper may suddenly become your worst enemy when they have a cheque for six million pounds in their hand.

Keep a record of payments

The manager should keep a written record of who has paid how much and when. You can also obtain signatures at the time of payment if the syndicate is large enough to warrant this.


Discuss as the time of the agreement what you will do as a group if your numbers come up. Do all of you want to be splashed across the pages of the tabloids or would you prefer to quietly slink away and spend your cash?

Decide on a maximum number to play

The idea of increasing your chances of winning that big prize if ten of you play each month sounds like a good idea - after all, if you win £2,000,000 that's a cool £200,000 each. BUT, double that to 20 players and you are only going to win £100,000! Include even more into the syndicate and you will get to the stage where you can win more money playing a scratchcard!


Key Points To Remember

The agreement must be signed and dated by each group member and should be witnessed by, we suggest, a solicitor, doctor or someone of similar standing.
If the group changes, a new agreement should be drawn up.
Copies should be given to each member and the original kept in a safe place, as the Inland Revenue may require to see it as evidence of the group agreement.

How To Play In A Group

There are two ways for your group to play The National Lottery: Weekly or Multi-Draw

For each draw, the manager should take the group's completed playslips to the retailer and pay for them to be entered into the draw.

To make running your group easier, you may like to play the same numbers each draw. A multi-draw allows you to play the same numbers each draw for up to sixteen draws Simply tick the appropriate box in the column marked 'Number of Draws' on the playslip; this will ensure the group's numbers are automatically entered for the chosen number of draws.

Running A Group

Collecting money from the group
Whether members pay their money on the day of the draw or in advance, a record should be kept of who's paid what so everybody knows where they stand.
Remember: It's a good idea to decide what you are going to do if one of the members of the group can't pay for a particular draw. Get this clear from the start, just in case the situation arises.
Buying your tickets
The manager will be responsible for purchasing the tickets. Before this can be done, playslips must be completed with the group's numbers. Each set of numbers will cost £1 per draw. Playslips should be taken to a National Lottery retailer who will give you your lottery tickets which record your numbers and the draw date(s) for which they're entered.

Your tickets should be kept safe as they will be required to claim a prize. It's important that the manager writes his/her name and address on the tickets. You may like to make a photocopy of the ticket(s) for each of your group's members

Look out for the winning numbers
Winning numbers will be broadcast every Wednesday and Saturday evening on BBC 1 and Radio 1. They will also be available in national newspapers and clearly displayed in all National Lottery retailers.

Remember: Winnings should be collected by your manager and shared out according to your group agreement.

Things To Remember

The National Lottery does not encourage entries made by or on behalf of commercial and advertised syndicates and is not liable to make payments of any prize on a ticket which it knows or suspects has been resold or otherwise transferred by way of trade. There is no facility for the bulk purchase of tickets.

Each group member must be 16 years or over to play The National Lottery.

A summary of the Player Code Of Practice is on display at all National Lottery retailers.

In the event of any discrepancy between this leaflet and the Games Rules and Procedures, the Games Rules and Procedures apply.

This information is given without legal liability on our part and we would advise you to consider having a solicitor prepare a legally binding agreement. agreement

The above is reproduced from the "Playing In A Group" leaflet published by National-Lottery.co.uk