The UK Lotto is very popular in Britain and more than half of the adult population faithfully hand in their lottery numbers to the UK National Lottery’s weekly draws, one of the most popular ones, if not the most popular, being the EuroMillions lottery. The British lottery operator is also one of the most philanthropic in the world, and since the founding of 1994, it has distributed over £ 31 billion to charity and various charitable purposes, many of them in London.
Did you know that many tourist destinations were sponsored by the National Lottery and might not have been in their present form unless the English liked to play a lottery? Join us for a tour!
First stop: The British Museum
Although the first stop doesn’t have a lot to do with the National Lottery, it can still thank a lottery for its entry! The British Museum was founded in 1753 using Sir Hans Sloane’s huge cultural history collection, but there was no building for exhibiting the objects. The British Parliament arranged a lottery in favor of the museum. The lottery was shaken by several accusations of cheating, but sales revenue certainly covered the purchase of Montagu House where the British Museum first opened its doors to the public in 1759. The winning lot was number 46885!
Second Stop: The Royal Academy of Arts
The Royal Academy of Arts received £ 12.7 million from the National Lottery for its “Reveal, Celebrate and Explore” project, which begun in 2014 and will end in 2018 before the Academy’s 250th Anniversary. The project is intended to make Royal Academy’s heritage more accessible to the public. These include new spaces, the restoration of historical environments and the digitization of parts of the Academy’s cultural heritage.
Third Stop: The Home of Jimi Hendrix
In December 2013, the National Lottery announced that it will give £ 1.2 million to the restoration of some attics on 23 Brook Street, Mayfair, to the exact condition the attics were in back in 1968 when they were rented out by guitar legend Jimi Hendrix and his girlfriend Kathy Etchingham. Hendrix rented the rooms in the late 60’s and described them as “the only home I ever had”. In the apartment, there will be a museum of Hendrix’s life and musical heritage. Interestingly, the apartment is right next to 25 Brook Street, where Baroque composer Georg Friedrich Händel lived for 40 years in the mid-18th century, and where you can find the Handel House Museum today.
Fourth stop: Victoria Park
Victoria Park is one of hundreds of parks around the UK, which is revived with lottery money. The idea has been to renew parks and to spread knowledge about their historical legacy and make them accessible to the public. Victoria Park received a grant of £4.5 million in the 2010 National Lottery to improve and develop the park with cafes, public toilets, and recreation rooms.
Fifth stop: Cutty Sark
Cutty Sark is one of the most famous clipperships sailing under the British East India Company. She was launched in 1869 and sailed until 1877 with loads of tea between China and London and later with wool from Australia for almost 20 years. After that, the ship has been used for various purposes, and in April 2012 the ship was reopened as a museum in Greenwich, East London, where you can board and admire the hull from below. The national lottery sponsored the restoration project with a total of 22.75 million pounds and without this funding, we could hardly experience Cutty Sark as we can today.