The National Lottery 25th Birthday celebrations begin!

October 16th 2019
Sarah Booth

Since The National Lottery began 25 years ago, they've made some truly amazing things happen. Here’s just a few that couldn’t have happened without YOU.

Olympic and Paralympic Glory

Since National Lottery funding for Olympic and Paralympic sport started in 1997, National Lottery funded athletes have won 864 medals. It’s incredible to think Team GB won just one gold medal at the Atlanta 1996 Olympics compared with 67 medals, including 27 golds, at the Rio 2016 Olympics. And that unforgettable ‘Super Saturday’ during London 2012 when Team GB grabbed 12 gold medals in one day. Paralympics GB won an incredible 147 medals, including 64 medals across 15 different sports, including six in archery. All our Olympic and Paralympic champions benefit from your support in the shape of National Lottery funding, which gives them access to training, coaching, medical assistance and facilities.

First Lotto Draw

On November 19th 1994, Noel Edmonds took his place next to the machine and addressed a TV audience of more than 20 million people. Across the UK more than 48 million tickets had been bought. Among those ticket holders was then Prime Minister John Major, who bought five lines for the first draw from a shop at Victoria Station. He wasn’t a winner but seven people did match all the numbers and shared in a £5.9MMillion jackpot.

565,000 Grants Given

One of the first projects ever to receive National Lottery funding was Morecambe Brass Band (for new trumpets). Since then, more than 565,000 grants have been given out worth £40 billion. These grants have done enormous good, including helping to safeguard UK species facing extinction and funding 12,000 schemes to help fight loneliness. In fact, every time you play you help raise around £30MMillion a week for good causes all over the UK.

5,500 Millionaires Made

In 2004, Iris Jeffrey from Belfast won £20.1MMillion on Lotto, becoming the game’s biggest single publicity winner. Then in 2016 an anonymous ticket-holder became the biggest-ever Lotto winner, scooping £35.1MMillion. Not to be beat, Colin and Chris Weir from Largs, Scotland, became the UK’s biggest ever National Lottery millionaires in 2011 after hitting the record-breaking £161MMillionEuroMillions jackpot.

Changing the face of UK film

We always knew The King’s Speech and Colin Firth were world-class, but it was still nice to have it recognised: The King’s Speech won four Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actor, in February 2011. And yet, without £1MMillion of National Lottery funding, the film might never have happened. In fact, The National Lottery has invested over £933.6 million into film-related projects over the past 25 years, funding over 22,860 projects – from iconic films to community film clubs.

If you have a story about how The National Lottery has helped you or your community then please get in touch with 

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