By Sammie Jones-
The BBC’s axing of the National Lottery is a reflection of falling interest in the lottery.
The lottery programme which was launched in 1994 in 1994, the same year it started in the UK, was a hit at first. In its heh days back then, Noel Edmonds and psychic Mystic Meg helped pull a peak audience of more than 20 million.
However, efforts by the BBC to be innovative and boost the programme with 18 different game shows since 1998, have come at a loss to the BBC. The show’s audience has dropped nearly 10 times since. Only 3.2 million tuned in for the draw, a big sign of falling interest in the U.K national lottery. First Camelot increased the price of a lottery ticket from 31 to 32, then they increased the numbers from which the public should select from 49 to 59, making it more difficult to get the eventual 6 numbers. Did they think we were stupid?
The BBC has now decided to scrap the televised version of the show, with viewers expected to log onto the iPlayer to watch the numbers being chosen. The BBC confirmed that more than 70 per- cent of people log on to the Internet to check the results of the lottery instead of tuning in for the draw.
“The draw just seemed pointless as everyone either plays online or goes on the internet to check their results,” a source told The Sun newspaper. “It’s sad as it brings to an end 22 years of TV history and there is still a hardcore group of fans out there that like to watch the balls drop before Casualty.”
There has been falling interest in the national lottery for a while now. Camelot has changed the odds of winning in a way that makes the chances of winning very remote compared to the chances of losing. The choices for selection of balls were between 1 and 49 initially until Camelot changed it by adding a further 10 numbers, making the already slim chance of winning a huge prize even much slimmer.
Camelot did try to talk up their new invention,but the British public was never going to fall for that one. Once the huge slash in the mathematical odds was made public by the press, many including myself were turned off for life. Why would anyone want to throw their £2 down the drain for a fantasy very unlikely to take place?
There will always be a fairly decent number who still find that small, infinite chance of an overnight turn – around in their finances, too hopeful to miss out on. They still play, but even they have lost the excitement of seeing the lottery numbers roll before them on the screen. The BBC’s revelation that most of them check the winning numbers online is a sign that excitement of watching the numbers live has disappeared. The very slim chance of winning is unattractive to the public, and news that many of those who win the jackpot have struggled to lead happy and respectable lives also takes away from any prospect of excitement.
We hear of divorces, wasted cash, tight lottery winners being mean to their employees or staff, just not happy news a lot of the time.
The BBC’s already axed the Wednesday night draw in 2012 because of insufficient viewers, 4 years later, the whole lottery show has been axed!It always tells a story when the numbers of viewers watching a particular programme drop dramaticallyover the years.