Give me a second to stop laughing. It is rare to get into a site that provides this much amusement. Searchlotto.co.uk just did that! It’s a search engine that is offering free lottery tickets in syndicates for searches. They say the site is in its infancy, but it was launched in April 2010. How long does it take for a site to ‘grow up’?
Games at SearchLotto
The first thing you do is go online and create an account. Then, simply start using the Searchlotto.co.uk search engine. Once you have performed 25 searches, they will give you a share in a UK National Lottery syndicate. They say it contains 20 people, but – yes the big but – it doesn’t say how many tickets are in the syndicate. Getting into the FAQ, things started to get confusing. They say that players will get one ticket for every 25 “unique searches” completed up to four tickets a week, and then say the first 20 searches made each day qualify for this.
There is also an advertisement for EuroMillions but no explanation on how those lottery tickets fit into the scheme. Search Lotto also offers a free lotto ticket (not sure which draw) for installing their toolbar.
Search Lotto and Winning
Make sure you do check your tickets. Search Lotto will only hold your winnings for thirty days after any draw. Funny, they say they do not keep the money themselves and give it to charities that they choose which are listed on their website – NOT. Search Lotto also says they “aim” to pay winners within seven working days.
Who Can Play at SearchLotto?
Digging into the Terms & Conditions didn’t take long. Keep in mind, players are being encouraged to use the search engine and not buying lottery tickets so it’s not complicated. But there was something a little strange – “the site is intended for use in the UK only” and players in other countries do so at their own risk. It wasn’t until we got into their FAQ that it actually states “only people in the UK can play”.
Third Party Advertising Companies
Search Lotto clearly states that they use third-party advertising companies. This means companies may use information about your visits to different sites – to provide more ads about stuff to you. What gets weirder is there is an opt-out website people (note I did not say players) can go to that provides an explanation on how this all works and how to avoid this kind of collection of information.
Search Lotto and Facebook
Searchlotto.co.uk does use social media to update how they are operating and what they are offering. Their Facebook page is a ramble on changes in their terms and conditions of what they offer and whether any of their lottery numbers have won. The but – ya, you knew it was coming – for a company that is using lottery tickets to encourage people to use their search engine and that has been around for almost five years, they only have 2,606 likes. I guess people don’t like it!
Besides a snail mail address, Search Lotto can be contacted through an email address Monday to Friday and they will respond within 24 hours. They are a private company based in the UK. There is no online chat or support for their site. Given they are actually a search engine, I think this is a little strange.
The Bottom Line
Sorry, I am still chuckling and couldn’t resist doing a few searches (no, I did not register) on their site to see how it operated. I can understand why a lot of people decided not to use it on a regular basis. Even with the incentive of free lottery tickets, I’ll stick to my usual search engines.
It’s a Search Engine
When Will It Grow Up?
If you want to play lotteries, our team suggests that you stick to purchasing tickets through a trustworthy online lottery provider. Searchlotto gets a thumb down.