Middlesbrough Community Lottery to Fund Town’s Cultural Activities

Middlesbrough Council has said they have plans for an online lottery that would help them raise funds for local cultural projects. The Community Lottery will help to support those local industries hit hard by the recent economic turmoil, especially hospitality, culture, and the arts.

The Prizes

Unlike the major lotteries, with their humungous jackpots, the top prize will be a (relatively) modest £25,000 for matching all 6 numbers. But £25k is only just below the UK’s average annual salary, so I’m sure winners will be extremely happy with that.

Players will also be able to win cash prizes of £1000, £250, and £25 for matching 3 or more numbers.


The council’s looking to sell tickets at £1 a play, with up to 60p from each ticket sold going to local cultural activities.

Compared to the EuroMillions, where 28% of UK sales go to good causes, and the National Lottery, where 25% of UK sales go to good causes, the Middlesbrough lottery is extremely generous – and that’s the point.

The council will apply for a licence from the Gambling Commission, which will ensure fair play.

There’s no mention of a rollover, but if it operates as the National Lottery, it’s highly likely to roll over because there are fewer players.  Although, there may be a mitigating process here, such as sharing the jackpot between people getting 5 numbers, or even 4. The council haven’t yet published details of the odds.

Why Are They Launching the Middlesbrough Community Lottery?

Cultural programmes receive relatively little money from local and national governments. Other areas, such as healthcare, schools, and policing rightly receive most of the funding.

But, cultural activities and projects can make a local community happier and healthier. It helps people’s mental health and gets them involved with the local area – and during these times, we need that more than ever.

Middlesbrough councils believe culture is vital to the town’s economic prosperity, but that funding is often hard to source. The Middlesbrough Community Lottery provides a way to inject cash into much-needed projects.

The aim is to attract visitors to the town whilst also boosting morale and pride amongst the residents – something that many of them will agree is lacking. The town suffers from somewhat of a bad reputation, but it’s a great place to visit, and these projects will help change negative perceptions…

…at least, that’s the plan.

What Does the Council Say?

Cllr Mieka Smailes had this to say about the Middlesbrough Community Lottery,

“Culture and events are what animate and really draw footfall and interest into our town centres. Finding money for a robust events programme can be tough and my idea for a lottery could help to add to our spending power and support the cultural sector’s…and I hope that it will be seen as a way to invest in our town whilst having a bit of fun.”

A proportion of each ticket will cover specific costs:


  • Up to 60p for cultural activities
  • 20p to cover the winnings
  • 17p to the organiser and logistics
  • 3p VAT


One of the best things about the Middlesbrough Community Lottery is that the winner will help to decide where 50% of the 60% for cultural activities will go, with the council deciding the remaining 10%.

Players will only be able to buy a set number of tickets at a time to help minimise the risks of problem gambling.

Take Away

We don’t know when the council plans to launch the Middlesbrough Community Lottery. It’s an ambitious plan, but one that sounds good to me! If it takes off, it’s something that councils around the country should start paying attention to.

Is this the start of a new type of lottery? I hope so because I’ll be buying a ticket if/when it comes to my town!

A cartoon picture of silouheted people in bright colours to represent community and the Middlesbrough Community Lottery