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21 things you probably didn’t know about The National Lottery

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The National Lottery is 21 years old, so here are 21 facts, stats and oddities from 21 years of making millionaires and raising money for life changing projects across the UK.

1. David and Kathleen Long (pictured above) have won £1 million on EuroMillions TWICE. Once in 2013 and again in 2015.

2. In an average postcode 144 projects have received National Lottery funding (which adds up to over 450,000 grants across the UK).

3. We have an expert team of Winners’ Advisors who travel the country paying out prizes over £50,000. So be ready for that knock at the door.

4. On an average week our call centre staff will confirm to SIX people that they have won a prize of £1 million or more.

5. The most popular destination for National Lottery millionaires is the good old US of A.

6. The smallest National Lottery grant ever given was for £50 to fix a trumpet. The biggest was £2.2 billion to stage the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

7. The most popular post win drink for our National Lottery millionaires? Champagne? No – it’s an old-fashioned cup of tea.

8. We give our big winners the option of receiving financial advice from Coutts & Co – the same bank used by The Royal Family.

9. One of our National Lottery winners bought their neighbour’s house and turned it in to a pub.

10. The biggest-ever National Lottery win was £161 million on EuroMillions – won by Colin and Chris Weir.

11. In an average week our players raise a whopping £34 million for National Lottery projects the length and breadth of the UK.

12. There have been a staggering 4,000 millionaires created since the first draw in 1994. And a bumper 57 millionaires in October 2015 alone.

13. Your support has helped 58,500 Second World War veterans return to where they served to pay their respects.

14. One millionaire bought his dream car – a Robin Reliant – in Champagne Gold of course.

15. Lottery–funded films like The Iron Lady and Gosford Park, Billy Elliott, The Last King of Scotland and The King’s Speech have won a total of 31 BAFTAs and 14 Oscars to date.

16. 3,270 children of National Lottery millionaires are already, or will be when they grow up, millionaires as a result of their parents’ win.

17. National Lottery funding has supported more than 4,500 elite athletes, helping them to win 633 Olympic and Paralympic medals since 1997.

18. More than 12 per cent of winner have made someone else a millionaire.

19. National Lottery funding has been used to restore more than 600 parks and preserve more than 72,000 hectares of woodland (that’s the same size as 100,000 football pitches).

20. More than 36,000 players have won a prize of £50,000 or more.

21. Volunteers have given the equivalent of over 17,000 years to lottery funded projects – that’s over 150 million hours of their time.

The National Lottery has been changing the lives of winners and supporting good causes across the UK since 1994. In that time, there have been more than 5,900 new millionaires created and by playing The National Lottery you raise £30 M Million for good causes every week.

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    The National Lottery is 21 years old this week, so here are 21 facts, one for every year!

    What do you do if you win £170m on the EuroMillions?

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    A so-far anonymous British ticket-holder has won a record £170m Euromillions jackpot, following the longest ever series of rollovers.

    It follows on from another anonymous win in June, when one lucky individual scooped £123m.

    Lottery winnings are tax-exempt, so every penny is put into the winner’s pocket, but with such a substantial gain, knowing what to do with the cash once it is in your hands can be difficult.

    Britain’s most recent multi-millionaire will now meet Andy Carter, Camelot’s senior winners’ adviser, who will present them with a panel of financial advisers and private banks from which to choose.

    Once selected, for a sum of this size, the private bank will take over, with the lottery transferring the entire lump sum in one go, typically within 48 hours.

    Whether you’ve received a windfall of £100m, or smaller company bonus or inheritance of, say, £10,000, sensible financial planning is crucial.

    So what exactly should you do with your winnings?

    For the largest winnings many will be advised to let the private bank handle their affairs. But for those who prefer a more hands on approach, here is a checklist of essentials to consider.

    The first priority should be to pay off any debts, such as mortgages, credit cards and loans, according to Andrew Merricks, head of investments at financial planning firm Skerritts Wealth Management.

    “Get yourself in the black. It takes the pressure off and ensures that money is for you and your family rather than for the debtors,” he said.

    A fter this, the key is to not rush into any decisions, said Mr Merricks.

    “Park it somewhere, such as a bank account, until you know what you want to do with it.” This way you can draw a small amount of interest while working on a financial plan.

    One trap that many people who become suddenly wealthy fall into is to buy the big, expensive house of their dreams.

    W hile property can be a rewarding investment, tieing up large sums in a lavish new house may not be a prudent way to spend it. Mr Merricks warned that running costs are disproportionately high on large houses and advised investing extra capital instead.

    Boring but safe savings accounts, government bonds, known as “gilts”, or NS&I accounts will provide a small amount of income and can be used for the money you can’t afford to lose.

    NS&I accounts can also be used to safely hold lump sums, as they are 100pc safe and back by the Treasury.

    Most other accounts only guarantee to protect 100pc of your cash up to a limit of £85,000 – the compensation threshold for the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, a lifeboat fund.

    M ore risky investments such as stocks and shares can be attractive as well but it is easy to get carried away when investing such a large amount, Mr Merrick warned.

    Ultimately, working out how much money you want to live on, and finding the lowest-risk way to achieve this, should be the goal.

    R emember, while the initial lottery winning was tax-free, any gains made through investing the cash is taxable. Money held in Isas and pension accounts grows tax free, though withdrawals from pensions are taxable at your marginal rate of income tax.

    You can save £20,000 a year into an Isa and normally a maximum of £40,000 into a pension.

    Couples can double up their allowances and you can move investments gradually into tax free structures over the years. You can also invest in funds or shares that grow but don’t produce income and sell them off when in need of cash. This may trigger capital gains tax if above the £12,000 tax-free threshold, but the rates are likely to be lower than your marginal income tax rate.

    Some investments in venture capital schemes such as Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) or the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) can help you to limit your tax exposure, but are inherently high risk as they invest in typically small and new start-up firms.

    B oth allow you to claim 30pc income tax relief, while VCTs will provide you with tax-free dividends.

    EIS investments can be passed on free of inheritance tax.

    A so-far anonymous British ticket-holder has won a record £170m Euromillions jackpot, following the longest ever series of rollovers. ]]>