The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) received nine separate complaints recently over the Health Lottery adverts, all of which were investigated and eventually received an assessment of “Not Upheld”. The complaints focus on one of the television adverts broadcast on 28th September and a national press ad that appeared in the Daily Mail on 15th October.  Of the nine complainants, six asked if the claim that you would win £100,000 was misleading because they understood that the top prize for the Health Lottery was “up to £100,000”.

The Health Lottery’s response to this was that their lottery was run as a “fixed price game” so regardless of how many winners there were in each of the three prize tiers, every winner would receive the prize amount in their winning prize tier. The Health Lottery went on to explain that they have an insurance policy to cover them should winnings exceed the money generated in revenue and that they would still be in a position to honour the prize amounts to all of the Health Lottery winners.

The complaint is understandable because the Health Lottery website clearly states “Match all 5 numbers and win up to £100,000” but the ASA did the maths and “understood that there was a 0.0096% chance that the top prize might be less than £100,000, but considered that, because the likelihood of that happening was so remote, it was unnecessary for the ad to state that the top prize was "up to" £100,000”.

This adjudication from the ASA also covered another complaint which questioned if the advertising of the two lower prize tiers was also misleading because the complainant believed that prizes may vary.

When it came to the Daily Mail advert the first complainant also questioned the validity of the press advert as it also stated "Match any 5 balls. Win £100,000.” Again this was covered in the adjudication for the television commercial and the ASA felt the small print “Terms and Conditions apply” was sufficient to cover the unlikely scenario of the Health Lottery being unable to pay out the winning jackpot amount.

A further two complainants picked up on the claim in the Daily Mail advert which stated "7 times more likely to win our top prize" and whether this statement could be substantiated. The Health Lottery response was that this claim was based on statistical evidence when comparing with the odds of winning the Lotto jackpot. The Lotto top prize odds are 2.1 million to one where as The Health Lottery odds are 2.1 million to one which shows as a mathematical calculation of 6.7:1. The comparison was considered fair by the ASA and not upheld.

If you should wish to read the full adjudication, you can do so here.