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'How a Lottery Bonus Ball draw helps me to fundraise at work'

Our Community Fundraiser Ian Robertson tells us about his experience with setting up a Lottery Bonus Ball at work to raise money for MS-UK.

Having run multiple marathons for charity in the past, I wanted to find a new way to raise funds with friends and family, so this year I have set up a Lottery Bonus Ball draw. It’s simple, easy to set up, run and gives people a chance to win some cash while raising funds to help people living with multiple sclerosis. It’s a win-win!

The basics are that people select a number between 1 and 59, and if that is drawn as the UK National Lottery Bonus Ball, the person who has chosen that number wins the prize pot (excluding a 20% charity donation). Simple!

If you don’t have 59 players, then no problem. If no one has selected the Bonus Ball number for that draw, the prize fund rolls over to the next draw.

To set up a Bonus Ball draw, just follow the below steps.

  • Decide which draws you will use for the Bonus Ball draws. I started with just the Saturday draw, but upped this to be both the Saturday and Wednesday draws (as it means two chances to win a week)
  • Decide on how much to charge. I chose £1.00 per week (effectively £0.50 per draw) so as not to be too much as to put people off entering
  • Decide on what proportion of the entry fee will go to MS-UK. I selected 20% and this is a great balance between the fundraising and having a nice prize fund to keep people interested

I asked the players to pay for five weeks (10 draws) at a time. This reduces the hassle of collecting money every week and made the charity share calculation nice and easy (as with a 20% charity share, £1.00 goes to charity from each person’s £5.00 entry).

All you need to do is either let the players choose their number (on a first come first serve basis) or get them to draw an available number from a hat. Then they keep that number going forward.

Each Monday and Thursday, I check the bonus ball drawn in the main lottery draw and if someone has chosen that number they win the prize pot. If no one has chosen the number, the prize pot rolls over into the next draw.

The other rule we have is that new people can only join the syndicate immediately after someone has won, but before the next draw.

I’ve been running my syndicate at work for three months and so far we’ve shared out over £180.00 between three winners. We have raised £75.00 for MS-UK! With just 21 players, by the end of the year, this will have added more than £200.00 to my fundraising total.

If you need help setting up your big money balls at work, you can email Lucy via lucy@ms-uk.org or call 01206 226500.