Following a piece I wrote a few issues back, reporting on the retailer who temporarily lost his Camelot terminal because the story of a local big winner was 'leaked' to the local press before getting Camelot's permission, I've had further feedback on the subject both from Camelot and retailers.
Camelot took exception to part of my earlier story when I suggested that "not a lot of people have won the lottery and therefore not a lot of people would know the rules". Well,
I stand corrected. Four million people win every week. My only comment here is, what does that say about my luck? (And yours, too, I bet.) The only time I ever 'win', it's one of those dodgy emails.
The most interesting reader enquiry comes from a retailer whom I will keep anonymous (he says to
use his name if what he is doing is okay, so this gives you a clue about what's coming).
He has been photocopying winning four-figure online tickets, but only several weeks after the winners have collected from Camelot, and he has been displaying them on the wall, which obviously sparks a great deal of interest among customers.
He says the tickets are totally anonymous and various Camelot reps have seen the displays over the years and seem perfectly fine with it.
No, sorry. You still cannot do this, according to Camelot.
Camelot sent me a full and detailed account of why but, in a nutshell, sums up: "Our concern is that we have always operated on the basis that publicising the fact that a particular store has paid a particular prize could facilitate the tracing of that winner."
As a journalist, I have to concur that someone working for, say, one of the red-tops and being of a ferret nature, could probably trace winners quite easily just by asking around.
Camelot is really hamstrung on this one. The licence it has to run the National Lottery comes with draconian rules. The spokeswoman praised the retailer's enthusiasm and, mercifully, didn't attempt to find out who he was. And, best of all, Camelot was actually pleased that I had raised this point so that it could put the definitive on record.