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New Set For Life Game

From 18th March 2019 onwards, Camelot will be introducing a new Set For Life game, where the top two tiers involve monthly £10,000 payouts. Tickets will cost £1.50 and draws will be every Monday and Thursday. 5 main balls will be drawn from balls numbered 1-47 and also 1 life ball drawn from balls numbered 1-10.

5 main + life ball £10,000 per month for 30 years 15,339,390 to 1
5 main £10,000 per month for 1 year 1,704,377 to 1
4 main + life ball £250 73,045 to 1
4 main £50 8,116 to 1
3 main + life ball £30 1,782 to 1
3 main £20 198 to 1
2 main + life ball £10 134 to 1
2 main £5 15 to 1

The odds of winning any prize are approximately 12.4 to 1.

So what's wrong with Set For Life?

As with every Camelot game launch, they just simply never get it "right". In this case, there's multiple very obvious issues, each one of which is enough to actively discourage many players:

Too many games

You'll notice that the draw days are Monday and Thursday, which means that the only day there isn't a draw (main Lotto, Thunderball, Euro Millions, Set For Life - never mind their pointless HotPicks variants too) is now just Sunday! Camelot will counter that overall grand total sales will rise, but I'll argue "not by much" and it will actually dilute other games.

No lump sum payment

Unlike many US lotteries that can pay out winnings monthly, Set For Life has no option whatsoever for a lump sum payment (not even one that gives you a reduced lump sum payment compared to the grand total of the monthly payments - which is what US lotteries do).

This has three obvious problems with it. Firstly, you can't buy a large ticket item (house, car, whatever) without waiting for what could be years of £10,000 payments to turn up. In fact, it'll take over 8 years to receive just £1m of the grand total of £3.6m, which is hopeless. Monthly payments work when the jackpot is £100m+, but definitely don't when it's under £5m.

Secondly, you could easily die before you get all your 360 monthly payments, especially if you are aged over 50 when you win (yep, it's an ageist lottery game!).

Thirdly, inflation will eat away at the £10,000 monthly jackpot payments, which aren't index-linked - they remain at £10,000 for the entire 30 years. If you received a lump sum, you could invest a lot of it immediately and - assuming you didn't go for risky stocks - probably at least keep in pace with inflation w.r.t. returns.

In fact, there is just one way to get a lump sum paid out - you die and your family's estate receives what's left to pay out as a lump sum. Not much use unless your ghost finds a way to spend it...

No rollovers

If the jackpot isn't won, it doesn't rollover at all. It would make the game far more attractive to get an increasing monthly payout (for both top tiers) as the game keeps rolling over (yes, you'd want infinite rollovers, which Camelot always annoyingly avoid with their games).

Can't play by Direct Debit yet

It seems bonkers that a new game launch doesn't have the abliity to play the game by Direct Debit from day one. Camelot have left the door open for Direct Debit later on by saying that it won't be available "initially", but surely they're going to lose out on players who want the convenience of "set and forget" that Direct Debit gives you.

Note that because of the above bad features of Set For Life, I won't be playing the game myself. Results will be carried by this site, but only updated via auto-scraping the Caemlot official site (i.e. I won't be watching/transcribing any YouTube videos that cover it).

You can read more about the new Set For Life game at the official site.

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