We sometimes get asked questions about the Force Lottery, so if you have any of the same or similar questions the below may help to explain.
Q - Can I know what my allocated numbers are?
R - Yes you can, however they will not mean much to you as we check the winning numbers and notify members. You don't have to do anything other than keep your fingers crossed and await a phone call or an email should you win.
Q - How are the numbers drawn?
R - Twice a month a series of numbers are drawn using unique values between the first and last allocated chances contained within our lottery database which is updated each month. This is done using a 'random number generator' and is carried out by two members of HPLS staff. These numbers are then checked against the lottery database and members payments to reveal the lucky winners for that draw. We do not rely on any automated lottery software as we want to ensure the process is transparent and accountable. We use a number of random generators to ensure that the widest and most reliable processes are used. Each stage is recorded and stored securely in our records. It's simple, but it works.
Q - I have been in the lottery a long time now and never won. Am I just very unlucky?
R - A lottery is by nature a random process and the fact is, like any other draw of any kind, you may be unlucky and not win and it wouldn't be a lottery if anything else was the case. Conversely you can win within a short time of joining. However every month we have around 30 winners and you can only win if you are in it! Of course your chance of winning is increased the more chances that you have, but even the minimum stakes are resulting in wins in every draw. It really is the luck of the draw!
Q - What are my actual chances of winning a prize?
R - This is not a simple question to answer and will depend on various factors, the most important being how many chances that you have entered each draw. Most lotteries pay out 50% or even less of the prize fund, however our draw pays over 70% of funds which is always around the maximum that we can pay according to the regulations. What we can say is that your chance of winning a meaningful cash prize is better in our draw than it could ever be in the National Lottery or NS&I premium bonds.
Q - Can I win more than once?
R - Yes of course and many members do win more than once and more.
Q - I know someone at my station who has won quite a few times and I have never won?
R - Yes this can happen and does. Often this is because the person you are referring to may have a much higher number of chances in the draw than you do which will of course increase their chances, but it certainly does not mean you are not going to win! Every draw the winners are a mix of both lower and higher stake holders and serving and retired staff.
Q - Can I just buy a ticket when I want to?
R - No our draw works differently to Lotteries like the National Lottery or Health Lottery. Deductions are taken from payroll, pension or standing order. This takes time to set up and for the Lottery Administrator to include within the database. For this reason we ask that you give a commitment of at least 12 months to the Force Lottery unless of course, that you leave the organisation when your payments will stop.
Q - How are prize levels decided? Our lottery operates under a set of rules agreed by the HPLS Executive Committee and the number and value of prizes is adjusted periodically according to the number of members paying for chances and the income being generated. The membership of the lottery has steadily increased over the past 10 years, therefore prizes have increased likewise.
Q - What does the Lottery support?
Any proceeds from the draw is invested back into HPLS to ensure that administration costs and running expenses are covered in the same way as any other lottery. This allows our staff to maintain an excellent level of service to our members.
Q - Can I join the Force Lottery without being a member of HPLS?
R - Yes, although we manage it, there is no condition of prior or continued HPLS membership.
Q - Can I reduce my monthly stakes amount?
R - Yes of course. Just ask by email and this can be facilitated.
Q - If I ever want to leave the Lottery how can I do so?
R - All you need do is ask us by email, but we really hope that you stay with us. There may be a delay in getting deductions stopped, however you will remain in the draw until they have ceased.
Any more questions?
Ask us here firstname.lastname@example.org