Independent retailers are hopeful that ticket sales for the new Health Lottery will rally in the coming weeks, despite a weak start.

Romford Costcutter retailer Hitendra Patel said customers had shown “a little bit of interest” in the week leading up to the first public draw on October 8, but nowhere near as much as he had expected. “With the Health Lottery people can win £50 for matching just three balls which is much more than they would on the National Lottery, but despite that, it hasn’t taken off,” he said.

When Convenience Store spoke to him less than 24 hours before the first draw, only 25 tickets had been sold.

In Kent, Belvedere News owner Amit Patel had sold just over 30 tickets.

“I’m hoping that as the weeks progress we will see an increase in the number of tickets sold,” he said. “We are trying to cross-sell the new game to existing National Lottery players, and anyone else who we think may be interested,” he added.

In a bid to maximise sales, Health Lottery organisers launched a retailer incentive scheme that will run until the end of October. Retailers are automatically entered into a £50 prize draw each time they activate a game card.

However, Weybridge News owner Raj Patel said organisers would do better to focus on retailer training rather than incentives. “I’ve not been very impressed with the levels of support I’ve had so far,” he said.

“Sales also take ages on the Payzone machine, and eat up paper, which is denting my commission.”