YOU’VE probably heard of Lotto, the UK’s national lottery, but fewer people know that you could win up to £2,500 based on where you live.
There are two postcode lotteries in the UK – a free one with prizes up to £2,500, and another with even bigger prizes which you have to pay £10 a month for.
How do they work?
Postcode lotteries are draws where you enter your postcode for a chance to win prizes.
There are two in the UK: Pick My Postcode (formerly known as Free Postcode Lottery), which is free to enter, and the People’s Postcode Lottery, which you pay a £10 monthly subscription fee for.
Only the postcodes of players in the lottery can be drawn, so there will always be at least one winner.
If more than one person wins, you have to split the prize.
But it could be worth asking your family and neighbours to take part too as having multiple entries of the same postcode will increase your chance of winning.
Pick My Postcode – which has more than 260,000 daily users – is free to enter and you could win some sizeable cash prizes in its daily draws.
The People’s Postcode Lottery has much bigger prizes, ranging from £1,000 up to a share of a £3million jackpot.
But you do have to fork out £10 a month, or £120 a year – and you might not win anything.
The prizes are less valuable from free-to-play Pick My Postcode – but if you don’t win, you don’t lose anything, which makes it the safest option.
For Pick My Postcode, you just have to sign up on the draw’s website with your email address and postcode.
You’ll then be entered into a daily draw at 12pm for a £500 jackpot.
But sometimes, prizes can roll over which will give you the chance to win an even bigger cash prize.
You’ll also earn a 1p bonus every time you check the site, which will build up over time.
But you can only claim your money if you ever win, which isn’t guaranteed.
The biggest ever payout was £2,526.39, which was won by lucky player, Casey Mitchell, last month.
There are also a number of smaller games, such as the video draw where you have to watch a quick video to be in with a chance of winning £300.
To play the People’s Postcode Lottery, you have to sign up on the website and enter your bank details.
You’re then automatically entered into a variety of different draws and prizes are announced every day.
How do you collect your winnings?
Winning postcodes are chosen by computers, not people, to remove any bias.
If you’ve won on Pick My Postcode, you won’t be sent an email or text to tell you.
The only way to find out is to check the website, which is a downside.
There are different draws at various times but the main draw is at 12pm each day.
If you’ve won, a “collect” button will appear on the screen, and the money will be paid by PayPal.
Other free lotteries you can play
THERE are several free lotteries around, which we list here:
- Freemoji Lottery – Choose a combination of your five favourite emojis and check the website to see if you’ve won. Prizes in dollars, up to $260.
- Free Birthdate Lottery – Enter your birthdate into the draw to win. Prizes of up to £50.
- DOB Lotto – Enter your birthdate to win. Prizes of up to £50.
- Free Lottery – Free daily draw online. Prizes of up to £10,000.
If you don’t have a PayPal account, the website will ask you to set one up.
But if you don’t want to, you can contact the lottery to make alternative payment arrangements.
You also have the option to double the prize money and donate it all to charity.
On People’s Postcode Lottery, you could be told of your win by post, email, text or in person if it’s a jackpot prize.
Both lotteries have lists of past winning postcodes so you can check retrospectively.
But Pick My Postcode will only allow you to claim before the next draw – so you have to check the website every day.
What are the dangers?
As Pick My Postcode is free to enter, there is minimal financial risk when you take part.
But your email inbox might suffer, because when you sign up, you opt in to receive a daily reminder to check the website for wins.
You can unsubscribe from this mailing list at any time by clicking “unsubscribe” at the bottom of your email.
You can also leave the daily draw through this link too.
Pick My Postcode is funded by adverts, offers and surveys on its website.
You can take part in some of the offers, surveys and videos to win more prizes but you will have to sign over your personal details to third parties.
Pick My Postcode says it checks all external sites before it features them on the website.
But even so, you might want to check out all terms and conditions on anything offered by a third party before giving away any personal data.
With the People’s Postcode Lottery, the biggest risk is sinking £120 a year into a lottery where you might not even win.
In addition, scammers have been using the lottery’s name to try and trick people into handing over bank account and personal information.
The lottery reminds players you can only win if you’ve entered and that you would never need to pay a fee before collecting your winnings.
March’s winning Premium Bond numbers are out – you can check our guide to see if you’re a winner.
You can now put as little as £25 into Premium Bonds thanks to a new shake-up.
There are alternatives to Premium Bonds, though, and we round-up the best ways to make the most of your savings.
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