Rajan Jhangee, of Paradise Stores, Brentwood, Essex, has asked why Camelot limits the commission it pays out on winning tickets. He understood that small stores could give out Camelot prize money up to a limit of £200 and that they would receive 1% extra commission on tickets worth more than £10 in prize money. But they get no commission on higher prizes (ie more than the £200 they are authorised to pay out).

He was suggesting that Camelot can and should tot up the worth of all the prize payouts from tickets that have been sold through each individual terminal to reach an annual total, and then pay out the commission on that. (He once had a winner queueing up outside at opening time with a ticket worth £235,000 he thought he could collect from the till.)

I said I didn't think Camelot would be happy to dip into money for good causes but Rajan maintained that the company has plenty of money: otherwise how could it afford to honour its pledge to create 35 new millionaires between now and Christmas with the two EuroMillions raffles scheduled?

I put this to Camelot and was reminded by its spokesman that in fact retailers can now pay out up to £500.

He said: "At the start of the third National Lottery licence in February 2009, we increased the optional prize payout limit for all retailers from £200 to £500. This allows all retailers, at their discretion, to pay prizes of up to £500 in store. In line with this increase, the 1% commission that retailers previously earned on paying prizes over £10 and up to and including £200 was extended for payouts up to and including £500. It's important to note that, as set out in our operating licence, this commission is payable on paying prizes, not the prize value of a ticket that has been sold."

And he added: "At a time when retailer margins in some categories were declining, we further underlined our commitment to our retail partners at the start of the third licence by maintaining sales commission on National Lottery draw-based games at 5% and increasing commission on scratchcard games by 20%, from 5% to 6%."

I write this on the eve of an £110m jackpot. Yes, it would be a lovely 1% for some retailer, but not a viable business proposition for Camelot.

Topics