school lottery

NEW! Step-by-step guide: 100 Club

A 100 Club is a great, hassle-free way to keep money trickling into your PTA kitty.  The trick is to publicise it clearly, and make sure all your parents and friends are signed up!

A 100 Club is a form of private lottery. Subscribers buy numbered tickets which are entered into a regular draw, e.g. 100 tickets for a 100 Club. This number can vary to suit the size of your school, e.g. 200 tickets for a 200 Club, and so on. Parents, teachers and friends of the school pay a fixed subscription for their number/s. When the tickets are drawn, a percentage of the profit is given as the prize, with the remainder going to PTA funds. 

  1. Before setting up a 100 Club, get an idea of how many parents are keen to take part, using the school or PTA newsletter to ask interested parents to get in touch. Highlight the fact that it's an easy way for them to support the school and that the draw is made regularly, with a good chance of winning. Once you know the level of interest, you will know what size club you need (keep this to a round number for ease). It is probably better to start with a 50 or 100 Club. You can keep a waiting list for parents that want to take up numbers when they become available.
  2. Decide whether to run this as a 'private lottery' or as a 'small society lottery' (see tips and advice below). Agree the minimum time commitment for participants, e.g. one year, running concurrently with the academic year from September to September. This would allow you to set up direct debits for the collection of subscriptions, thus reducing the administration. Agree how much to charge, the number of winners per month and the split of prize money to profit. Draw up a set of rules (download a sample set of rules).
  3. Circulate letters inviting people to join your school lottery - include an entry form, direct debit mandate and a set of your rules which should be signed and returned. Create a numbered spreadsheet of participants, including their name, address and payment method (you will need to check your PTA bank statements to verify that payments have been received before each draw). Print, trim and laminate numerals that correspond to the number of people playing your lottery. Now you're ready for your first lottery draw!
  4. It's important that the winning numbers are drawn in public so that all aspects of your lottery are transparent. With the support of the school, the draw could be held as part of an assembly or a staff meeting. Publish the names of winners in the school newsletter and on the school (or PTA) website. Payments to winners should be made promptly, either by posting a cheque to the address provided by the participant or in cash. If handing the winner cash, we suggest doing this in the school reception with a member of staff to witness the exchange.

Tips and advice for running a 100 Club

  • Licensing: There is no specific legal definition in the Gambling Act for a 50, 100 or 200 Club. These clubs exist to promote lotteries for a 'good cause' (lotteries cannot be run for private or commercial gain). The rules that apply to such lotteries depend on how the lottery is promoted. Typically, such lotteries are small in scale and operate under the rules of a 'private society lottery' or a 'small society lottery'.
    Private society lottery: Private society lottery tickets must only be sold to members (check your constitution to verify membership) and to people on the premises used in the administration of the society (i.e. your school). Private lotteries must comply with conditions relating to advertising which state that 'no advertisement for a private society lottery may be displayed or distributed except at the society premises, nor may it be sent to any other premises'. The Gambling Commission states that sending a letter home to parents would constitute promoting/advertising a lottery, therefore this would not be permitted. Given that there is no provision in law for a private society lottery, it's imperative that you have a strict set of rules and procedures in place in case a dispute should arise.
    Small society lottery: You do not need a licence from the Gambling Commission, however you will need to register with your local licensing authority and they may want to see a set of rules before considering an application. A financial return will have to be submitted within three months of the latest draw. Small society lotteries can sell tickets to anyone aged 16 and over.
  • Securing participants: Most PTAs attend school-led events for parents of new starters and this is a good place to start building interest. Use parents' evenings, sports day and PTA events to recruit members for your 100 Club. When pupils and parents leave the school, you will need a strategy for keeping numbers topped up.
  • What to charge: Most PTAs charge £12-24 per number, per year (£1-£2 per month) with 50-60% going to PTA funds and 40-50% paid out in prize money (often with three winners). Participants can buy more than one ticket.
  • Rules: A set of rules should be drawn up to ensure that participants are aware of the purpose of the lottery, how it is run and by whom, when each draw takes place, how winner's details are published, what happens in the event of a dispute, and what happens if a participant defaults on their subscription payment, etc.

Download sample set of terms and conditions and application forms.

Download a print-friendly PDF version of our step-by-step guide to running a 100 Club.

100 Club success stories

Marina Hodder, PTFA Treasurer, Offwell CofE Primary, Honiton, Devon (103 pupils): 'Our 100 Club has only been running since last September; we are a small school, and are pleased to have over 40 entries in the draw each month. Winners are drawn on the last Friday of each month, and if that falls in the school holidays we draw it on the first day back. The 100 Club as a private lottery, and is open only to friends and families of the school, therefore there was no need to contact the local authority or file regular financial returns. Participants have to complete and sign a 'terms and conditions' agreement form before they can enter. We keep a record of all money paid in and how much is paid out, and record who the winners are each month and how much they have won. People can choose whether to pay monthly or annually and receipts are given each time money is paid in. Winnings are paid in cash. At the moment the 100 Club raises £20 a month.'

John Carmichael, PTA member, Stowting CofE Primary, Stowting Hill, Ashford, Kent (97 pupils): 'The 100 Club has been running for about ten years, so it's well established. We have about 50 numbers sold - approximately two thirds of the families in the school, which is a reasonable uptake. The Club is promoted at the Christmas and summer fairs, and details are included in the induction packs which are given to new parents. Each number costs £2 per month which can be paid for by cash, cheque or direct debit monthly or annually. I check the monthly bank statement to verify that all the direct debits are in, then look at the membership to see if any renewals are due. Once these accounting matters have been concluded, I make the draw in the playground with one of the parents. Three numbers are drawn and the prizes are 20%, 10% and 5% of the income. From a legal stand point, our 100 Club falls within the category of private society lottery, therefore no licence or registration is required. Each PTA member receives a fact sheet giving a brief description of the rules and a membership application form which provides me with members' contact details and, should the 100 Club be inspected, provides proof of membership of all participants. Our small school has around seventy families and the 100 Club raises £600-700 a year - around 10% of our total annual income.'


The above is intended as guidance only. We recommend that you contact the relevant organisations with specific reference to insurance, legal, health and safety and child protection requirements. Community Inspired Ltd cannot be held responsible for any decisions or actions taken by a PTA, based on the guidance provided.


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