Local Lottery has been a common method of fund-raising in the USA for many years. People who reside in a specific region, area, county or postcode are eligible to enter a lottery to win cash prizes. Now, the city of Southampton in Hampshire has its own local lottery to raise funds for the council, provide extra cash for civic projects and stimulate the local economy. Residents with a relevant postcode will be eligible to enter the SOlotto. It launched on 11th April and the maximum cash prize is £50,000. It will be run through a combination of scratch cards and draws, but the latter will only take place if 5,000 people enter.
Residents commit to enter every week, paying £2 into the fund of an online draw (no tickets will be sold over the counter at vendors such as happens with the National Lottery and Health Lottery). The £50,000 top prize of SOlotto is bound to provide a big draw in a time when people are looking for alternatives to the Camelot game. A board of trustees is in charge of giving out the money to local causes raised from SOlotto and residents will no doubt be pleased to learn that all of the money will stay within the SO postcode area where it is generated.
SOlotto is not the first of its kind; it is based on the Isle of Wight lottery and the format will be similar to the island’s lottery. Some 2/3 will go towards the prize winners, sellers and local causes. Specifically, most of the money generated will go towards job creation and supporting local businesses to expand. As a main commercial port, Southampton was hit hard during the economic downturn and is especially feeling the pinch from recent government cuts.