Lotteries are one of those global institutions that cross all language and cultural boundaries. In fact the origins of lotteries go back as far back as to the Chinese Han Dynasty in 187 BC. Even way back then the lottery was used for funding government projects like the Great Wall of China.

There is hardly a county in the world which does not employ some sort of lottery system. Lotteries are the poor man’s chance to enjoy the dream of changing one’s life in a second with only a small amount of cash. In fact generally the price ticket is a pittance which makes it accessible for anyone to play.

Modern day lottery jackpots can reach astronomical amounts and can go up as high as hundreds of millions of pounds. This has lead to controversial move by U.K. Lottery operator Camelot this week. They announced that they intend to increase the current lotto price from £1 to £2.

This doubling of the lotto ticket price has led to a public outcry who question how in times of a recession Camelot can contemplate doubling the price tag of what many consider to be the only affordable gaming option to the masses.

Many have expressed their outrage at Camelot’s greed and have even termed it a tax on the poor. Camelot claim to be acting in the interests of the consumer who want more ways to win more money from the same game. Camelot plan to increase the prize for 3 matching numbers to more than double with £25. However the prize for matching 5 numbers will drop by £500 to £1000. The prize for matching 5 balls and the bonus ball will also halve to £50,000.

Camelot UK managing director Andy Duncan stated their thinking behind the controversial new changes,

” Our players still love Lotto but after 18 years they say they want more from it. We’ve spoken extensively with them to develop a re-energized game and the changes we’ll be introducing in the autumn to rejuvenate Lotto will give them what they have asked for: £25 for matching three numbers, bigger jackpots and a brand new way to play and win one of 50 prizes of a guaranteed £20,000 on each and every draw.”

Furious consumers vented their anger on social networks with quotes like that of David Mckay,

“During this very difficult period for most people with money tight and some losing their jobs, you decide to double the price of lottery tickets.”  A pensioner Pauline Leather wrote on the National Lottery Facebook page what many think, “As a pensioner on a budget can’t afford £2.00.”

It remains to be seen how the proposed price hike will affect national Lottery ticket sales. Many industry express believe that cash-strapped consumers will now start looking for more affordable ways of winning instant cash prizes. Scratch cards have been mentioned as a potential growth area as they are known to have one of the highest payout ratios. It is no coincidence that these scratch games make up an integral part of the overall lottery offerings. We have reported extensively on many such lottery scratchcards winners who won dream jackpots.