A very nice local lady phoned me yesterday to ask if I would help spread the word about a project that seeks to turn a rather water logged part of the local park into a marsh garden for the kids. When she mentioned it would be a national lottery funded thing I said that as a church we would probably find it difficult to be involved. When I looked into it further I discovered that it is part of a thing called The People's Millions whereby since 2005 projects have been nominated and then compete against each other for (what is in this case) the £50,000 prize (prizes vary in value).
On a certain day (this one will be next Wednesday) people are encouraged to phone a certain number and the side that manages to organise the most calls (705 of calls are usually organised rather than spontaneous reactions to the TV reports) the £50, 000 (or whatever) for their cause. Calls cost 15p a time and you can make as many as 10 per person. I have tried to discover where this money goes but there is no mention of this. Presumably after BT, the provider, the lottery people and ITV go back to their den and share it out.
I discovered that on average it takes 5,400 votes to win which = £810 (plus however much you get from the losers). So it is only a thousand or so a day that is being raked off but a lot of that will be with no reward for the good hearted people who pay up. Of course, the money has already taken gained from people foolish enough to put money in the national lottery. There must be a better way.