A WEEKLY lottery will give players across Basildon the chance to win £25,000... and will raise money for good causes in the borough.

The Basildon Borough Community Lottery will have its first draw on December 21, with tickets going on sale tomorrow.

All good causes – registered charities or campaigns in the borough – will be able to register to be a part of the scheme for free.

Under the new initiative, 60p of each £1 ticket goes to good causes in the borough with 20p going to the prize fund and 20p covering the costs of running the scheme.

When buying their tickets online, players will be able to choose from a list of charities registered with the scheme, which would then get 45p from every ticket, with 15p going to the Mayor’s Charity Appeal Trust.

Alternatively players could give all 60p in each £1 to the Mayor’s Charity Appeal Trust, which each year raises money for charities nominated by the Mayor of Basildon.

This year, that mantle falls to David Burton-Sampson.

And it was he who proposed the lottery idea, which was subsequently approved by the council’s policy and resources committee in July.

From December 21, the lottery draws will happen weekly, with the results being posted on Basildon Council’s website and its social media feeds.

Each ticket bought will have a six digit code and if players match their numbers with the ones drawn they will win a prize, ranging from £25 for three matches, to £25,000 for six matches.

Gatherwell, an independent body registered with the Gambling Commission, supported the set-up, management and operation of the Basildon Borough Community Lottery, and operate lotteries for 63 councils across the country.

A spokesman for Basildon Council said: “If just one person in every 200 of those eligible to play in the borough bought an average of 1.5 tickets each week for a year, then players’ nominated charities would get £25,682 and the Mayor’s Charitable Trust would raise £8,561.

“These shares would vary depending on the number of players who elected to choose their own charities or allocate the full 60 per cent to the Mayor’s Charitable Trust.

“The external lottery manager, not the council, would bear the risk of any shortfall between the money raised for the prize fund through ticket sales and the prize money to be paid out to players.”

Earlier this month, Ben Spear, from Gatherwell, along with Mr Burton-Sampson, attended a public event to show people how the lottery will work going forward.

The mayor had proposed the idea as an additional way to have a regular income stream for the borough’s charities and groups in additional to the mayor’s trust scheme.

Mayor Mr Burton-Sampson said: “I know from speaking to community groups and charities that there are a lot of people who work really hard to raise money to support their projects.”

He added: “I would encourage any groups and charities who weren’t able to come along to the event to please visit the website to register their interest in being part of this.”

To take part, go to www.basildonboroughcommunitylottery.org from tomorrow.