Frequently Asked Questions

    What is make a smile lottery?


    What we do

    Make a smile is a weekly lottery draw dedicated to raising funds for good causes and in doing so makes a difference to the local communities served by our partners.

    Who are we owned by?

    St Helena Hospice, a hospice charity based in Colchester wholly owns and administers the lottery and is working with other local causes to raise funds. Please click the links on the about page to find out more about the causes we support. Members of make a smile lottery choose which cause they wish to play in support of when they join. By working with other partners in this way, overheads and costs are kept to a minimum so more funds can be used for good causes.

    Our promoter

    St Helena Hospice trading as make a smile lottery under license number 4685. www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk St Helena Hospice is a company limited by guarantee. Registered in England and Wales Number 01511841. Registered Charity Number 280919. Registered Office: Myland Hall, Barncroft Close, Highwoods, Colchester, CO4 9JU. make a smile lottery office: 4 The Atrium, Phoenix Square, Wyncolls Road, Colchester, CO4 9AS.

    Licensed by

    Licensed by the Gambling Commission Number 4685.


    My Account


    You can sign up through our website and create an online account. There are some key benefits to having an account that can help you manage your regular giving easily.

    • All details, payments and communication preferences can be managed via your account.
    • Its easy to navigate to sign up and purchase.
    • You will never miss a draw, if you sign up for an autoplay you can be entered into the draw to support your good cause week-to-week.
    • You can easily identify any winning entries you might have via the My Ticket Account.
    • You will be able to review any drawn or upcoming plays.

    How do I set up my online account?

    • Visit the My Account page.
    • Enter your email address.
    • You will then receive an email which will enable you to reset your password.



    How do I check if a make a smile lottery representative is genuine?


    How do our representatives work?

    Representatives of make a smile lottery go out to events and retail premises and call on householders in the communities served by our partners, to raise awareness about our fundraising lottery. We also have a telesales team who help with the recruitment of lottery players.

    How can they prove who they are?

    All our representatives will have official identification on them – please ask to see this and ask any questions you may have.
    You can also contact the make a smile lottery office on 0300 303 4500 Monday to Friday 9am-5pm.
    Please click on the fundraisers page to view photographs of our representatives.


    How do I cancel a membership?


    What options do I have for cancelling?

    To cancel your membership with us you can call us on 0300 303 4500, email us on hello@makeasmilelottery.org.uk, or you can cancel through your account.

    What happens to my membership should I cancel, if I pay via a monthly payment?

    Once you cancel your membership all monies will be used as entries into the draw until this amount becomes zero. For those who pay their membership via a monthly payment this will mean that you will have a pence amount left which unfortunately will not be enough for a complete £1 stake in the lottery draw. Any pence amount that remains after ten weeks will be treated as a general donation to the good cause that a supporter was playing in support of.

    Is there anything else I need to do?

    Please note that if you pay by standing order you will also need to contact your bank or building society to notify them that you wish to stop payment to us.
    We cannot cancel the play on your behalf.


    Questions about playing make a smile lottery


    Can I play more than one number?

    Yes, you can, but there is a limit of 5 numbers played each week if you sign up to a subscription (autoplay). You can only purchase up to 5 subscriptions (autoplays) per week on the website. However, you can purchase up to 100 single tickets. Each number you play costs £1 per week.

    Can I buy a single, one-off ticket?

    Yes! We offer single tickets into the weekly draw. They are a fantastic option if you want to increase your chances as the rollover gets high or have a flutter without any commitment. They cost £1 per entry and go to support your chosen cause. Tickets must be purchased before 11am Friday for guaranteed entry into the weekly draw. If you purchase after this time, you will be entered into the following draw.

    Can I split my membership over several causes?

    No, sorry. You can, however, play more than one number and dedicate each to a different cause. There is a maximum of 5 subscriptions (autoplays) and 100 single tickets.

    What is my membership number?

    This is the same as your unique lottery number. If you would like a reminder of your number, please contact us. If you play by direct debit this will be the same number, if you play by debit card this will be different each week. Your play numbers will be sent to you on completion of payment.

    Can I set up a syndicate?

    Unfortunately, we are currently unable to set up a syndicate.

    How much of my payment goes back to good causes?

    For the last Financial Year 2020/2021:

    • Lottery Income that went towards charitable causes – £590,058 – 55.10%.

    • Lottery income that went on expenses – £389,680.00 – 36.4%.

    • Lottery income that went on prizes – £91,000 – 8.5%.

    In total, there were an average 20591 weekly plays across our charity partners, with 2652 prizes being given away over the year, totalling £91,000.


    Questions about winning


    How do I check if I’ve won?

    Our Results tab has the latest information and posters are displayed at cause locations. But you don’t need to remember to check your number(s) as your prize will be automatically added to your account, and if you don’t have an email we will send out prize cheques to winning members soon after each weekly draw takes place. You may even receive an email or phone call from us informing you of your win!

    Please contact us if your contact details change.

    If you have purchased your tickets in one of our partners shops for prizes of £10 please claim this in the shop. For any larger prizes please obtain a claim form from the shop.

    What are the prizes and how are winners selected?

    Winners are picked at random by a RNG (Random Number Generator) in our lottery software, which is hosted by Jumbo. This RNG has been independently tested by a Gambling Commission approved test house.

    There are 102 weekly prizes (1 x £1,000, 1 x £250, 100 x £10) and 1 rollover prize. The rollover goes up by £500 should it not be won, up to a maximum of £25,000. The roll over is set at a 5% chance of winning each week. If it is not won by the time it reaches it’s maximum, then this 5% chance will manually be changed to 100%. The system will decide if the rollover is won.

    Chances of winning – In total from April 2020-March 2021, there were an average 20,591 weekly plays across our charity partners, with 2,652 prizes being given away over the year, totalling £91,000.

    If I win, do I have to take part in publicity?

    No. We do like to feature the stories of some of our members on our website, social media and sometimes in the media to encourage other people to help us raise money for local causes, but there is no pressure to do this at all. If you would like to feature, please do contact us.

    How does the rollover work?

    In addition to the weekly prize draw with guaranteed prizes, we run a rollover draw with a jackpot of £25,000 which is not guaranteed to be won every week. The rollover prize has a 5% chance of being won, and if not won, rolls over by £500 each week, up to a maximum of £25,000, at which point it must be won. Should this prize reach the £25,000 mark, then within our software system, make a smile lottery has the ability to set the probability of winning this prize to 100%.

    Membership Questions


    Who can become a make a smile lottery member?

    People aged 18 or over and a resident of Great Britain can become a member, including staff, volunteers and supporters of our cause partners. Make a smile Lottery reserves the right to ask for proof of age of any player and claimant of a prize. Please read the full terms and conditions. Make a smile lottery staff cannot play the lottery.

    Can I choose my number?

    No, sorry. Your lottery membership number is unique to you and automatically generated by our lottery system, which means if you win a prize, you do not need to share it with other members.

    What happens after I join?

    When you sign up to the lottery you will receive a welcome email confirming the cause that you have chosen to support, if you don't have an email this will be sent via post.

    Please note the welcome email will be sent out the following Thursday, if you do not have an email these will be send via post on the Friday. Once your first payment has been made, you will receive an email with your play numbers and your Play and Save Reward Card.


    My Personal Data


    How will my personal data be used?

    Please click here to read our Privacy Policy and our Cookie Policy.

    Not sure you want to play a lottery?


    How else can I support a cause?

    Make a smile lottery is just one way to raise money to support your chosen cause; please visit each cause page for external links to each cause’s own website for information on other ways to help.

    How do I self-exclude from make a smile lottery?


    To self exclude, please click here.

    We fully support responsible gaming

    Please visit www.gamcare.org.uk for responsible gambling support and read our commitment to responsible gambling. To self-exclude please visit our self exclusion page.