I know what you’re thinking when hearing about a lottery that has “postcode” in its name. What are these folks on about? It’s exactly what it says! PostCodeLottery runs lotteries that are based on your post code. It’s sold as a monthly subscription though you can purchase more than one. It’s run by “People’s Postcode Lottery” who manages society lotteries on behalf of charitable bodies. They support good causes (their words, not mine) all over Britain. Anyway, let’s all take a step back and see what exactly PostCodeLottery is about.
How Can PostCodeLottery Win Me Millions?
PostCodeLottery is a subscription service. Each subscription buys one ticket for a month at a cost of £10 (plus a 0.50p service fee). This ticket is based on your post code. You can buy as many monthly subscriptions as you’d like, which means you might have three tickets on your post code. Why do this? Their millionaire prizes (six slated for 2013) are not in fact, one individual jackpot, but split amongst the people that live in an area based on the symbols (i.e. lowest prize is first three, second lowest is first four) in your post code. The person with the full winning post code gets the big prize. But, it is important to note that
“In accordance with the Gambling Act 2005, the maximum amount that can be won by a single ticket is 10% of the monthly UK ticket sales (up to and not exceeding £400,000)”,
states official Postcodelottery website. If you have three tickets, you could win three times in a specific shared draw.
Sounds confusing? You’re right. It took me quite a bit of time reading and re-reading information on their site to figure out how this actually works. The subscription also includes daily, weekly and monthly prizes based again – yes – on your post code.
Over the years, the lottery has added a couple of additional opportunities to win prizes.
The first one is periodic competitions that are announced on the website and the PostCodeLottery Facebook page. These are usually for non-cash prizes like shopping vouchers, tablets or tickets for a range of events. The website has a long list of people who have supposedly won the competitions so far, but because of the small awards, it’s difficult to verify whether such people exist and if they’ve won anything.
There’s also a PostCode lottery bingo. According to the official presentation, you deposit 10 pounds for a chance to win 30. There’s supposed to be a welcome bonus on the first deposit and some of the proceeds will once again be donated to charities.
Finally, there are some instant scratch cards. There are more than 150 games to choose among and an opportunity to get a prize of up to 5,000 pounds. Just like with other virtual scratch cards, however, it’s imperative to remain cautious. You don’t have a way of verifying the types and numbers of cards. In fact, there’s no telling if winning cards exist at all. Though PostCodeLottery supposedly gives you hundreds of options to win money (while supporting charities – something that they heavily put emphasis on), I’d still recommend retaining a healthy degree of skepticism about what they do.
Stop the Presses
You have to have a British post code to play – so what am I doing here? Okay, I am reviewing this site to try and provide a review on what these folks offer and whether it’s for real or not. If you don’t have a British post code stop reading now. You’re only wasting your time! Signing up for UK residents is easy on the lottery’s official website. Debit and credit cards alongside PayPal are accepted for purchasing subscriptions.
The Site at Post Code Lottery
Getting around PostCodeLottery’s site is painful. The information is scattered all of the place with no one location that provides a summary of what they offer. Too many words are made up in bold, so reading is a chore. Okay, I finally noticed up in the top right hand corner a little (very) place to click How It Works. The site simply draws your attention to so many other things, it was hard to get the basics!
Customer Service at PostCodeLottery
PostCodeLottery has their telephone number all over their site. You can ring them or complete a form asking them to call you back at a specific time. I’m not comfortable about this as sometimes I like my answers in writing, at least there is someone real you can talk with to discuss your question. People can also sign up for regular emails for PostCodeLottery news, updates and results.
Complaints at PostCodeLottery
Most complaints about PostCodeLottery were about the fact that some lottery representatives call at inappropriate hours or inconvenient times [whocallsme.com]. There were also former players saying that they felt harassed by the lottery after refusing to continue to sign up for their service.
What Else Do People Have to Say about It?
Looking for information online, it’s easy to see there are people who have actually won some money from the PostCodeLottery. Most of the individuals doing the reporting, however, mention relatively small sums.
One thing to keep in mind, however, is that some of the individuals that tried PostCodeLottery and won some money experienced serious problems when it comes to getting a payment. According to the website’s official regulations, all winnings are transferred directly to the player’s bank account. Still, many people have experienced problems with delays or not receiving their money at all.
So, the negatives seem to far outweigh the positive player testimonials about the lottery. Submitting your post code and winning money while also helping numerous charities may sound like a spectacular idea. Many people that have tried PostCodeLottery, however, believe that they would have been way better off by playing a national lottery and contributing to charities at their own discretion.
So Where Does the Profit Go?
One of the selling points of PostCodeLottery is that they direct a significant amount of the money collected from customers towards supporting charities. Looking at the charities list, it seems most are Scottish-based. I wonder what people in Wales thinks of this? I was unable to determine for a fact whether some of the complaints regarding the manner in which the financial support was distributed were justified or just the result of disgruntled people (like from Wales).
Some of the charities included in the official list are the Postcode Community Trust (a foundation supposed to aid marginalized communities), the Postcode Local Trust (providing project-specific funding), the Postcode African Trust (that supports charities like AfriKids and TheirWorld) and the Postcode Animal Trust (supporting charities like Marine Conservation Society, PDSA, Riding for the Disabled Association and the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland).
Over the years, PostCodeLottery has increased the number of charities that it works with and there’s also information about the amounts of funds that have been submitted to each individual charity cause. This type of information is easily verifiable – you’ll simply have to contact the individual charity organization. Though they’ll probably refrain from revealing numbers, it’s still easy to check whether PostCodeLottery has made any contribution at all. And some of these contributions are supposedly huge – according to the lottery’s website, it has donated 1,2 million pounds to PDSA!
The Bottom Line on PostCodeLotto
The bottom line is whether you think your post code is lucky. No, seriously, I guess it would be almost irresistible for most people to want to get in on this game. Results are widely broadcast and it would be very frustrating to hear your post code or street won and you didn’t have a ticket. I can already hear my neighbor rubbing it in. This might account for the popularity of this game.
No Numbers to Pick
Lots of Prizes
Many Different Games to Choose Among
Joining Is Easy
Numerous Payment Methods Are Supported
The Customer Support Team Is Responsive – Their Effectiveness Has Been Verified by Users
MUST HAVE A UK RESIDENCE
There Are Complaints about Prizes Not Being Paid Out
There Are Complaints about Former Members Being Harassed by Lottery Reps
It’s Not an Official Lottery, but an Online Conglomerate of Games
This is not a lottery that is going to make you a millionaire but it will provide some fun and part of likes the idea that I don’t have try to figure out what my lucky numbers could be. It’s a cute little lottery that the average person can play and feel they are supporting charities. But, the bottom line is you must have a UK address to play! Also, you may want to check out the complaints about the lottery before giving it a try. The experiences of others are quite informative and it’s up to you to interpret the information.
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