Everyone loves a lotto syndicate story such as ‘12 Corby bus drivers win EuroMillions top prize’ or ‘New Jersey’s Ocean’s 16 claim a third share of US Powerball jackpot’. theLotter recently discovered a great lottery syndicate story from back in 2010 when some 40 UK-based artists committed a full year to winning the lotto. Although luck didn’t carry the group to a top prize, they did make a profit and will go down in lotto history as one of the coolest syndicates the lottery world has known.
Lottery syndicates are about hope, community and sharing the excitement of lotto wins, big or small. Whether it is a group made up of colleagues, friends or family, the fate of one is that of all. It is with this understanding that forty artists formed a lotto collective called Artists’ Lottery Syndicate.
Founded by Glaswegian artist Ellie Harrison as a response to cuts in arts funding due to the global economic downturn, the “speculative new scheme for acquiring funds for artists” was quick to attract participants, many of whom jumped at the chance to be part of such a potentially lucrative social experiment.
A brief look at the people and art behind Artists’ Lottery Syndicate reveals the diversity of the group; Canadian Maayke Schurer’s real-time magic realism contrasts dramatically with microperformance social commentators FrenchMottershead, actually a London pairing, who in turn differ greatly from Chinese public-space performance artists, Cai Yuan & Jian Jun Xi, a.k.a. Mad for Real.
To avoid complications between members, Artists’ Lottery Syndicate decided upon a fixed set of lotto draws and number selections that offered general stability and sufficient variation to keep everyone entertained. The group decided to play EuroMillions UK and the UK National Lottery in a consistent manner from 1st July 2010 to 1st July 2011 according to the following system:
- 5 Artists’ Lottery Syndicate lucky numbers (15, 31, 35, 41 and 48) were selected from a guess range of 1-49 using a (particularly low-tech) lottery selection machine (see video above)
- 44 lines would be played in every Wednesday and Saturday UK Lotto draw, using the 5 lucky numbers and each of the numbers left in the 1-49 guess range
- 36 lines would be played in every Friday EuroMillions UK draw, using the 5 lucky numbers and all possible combinations of the two required Lucky Stars from a guess range of 1-9*
Each of the 40 artists and art duos committed to the full calendar year at £4 a week, making £208 total. Come 2nd July 2011, an untouched ‘lottery winnings’ account would be emptied and divided into 40 equal shares. All Artists’ Lottery Syndicate members agreed to go public should the group win the UK Lotto or EuroMillions jackpot.
Photo Credit: Artists’ Lottery Syndicate
As it happens, Artists’ Lottery Syndicate did not need to announce winning a top prize but still came out on top with an official profit for the year of £1,309.10. The happy bunch of artists you see holding up their novelty cheque in the picture above enjoyed the experience so much, they opted to give themselves two ‘bonus draws’ to cap the year, finishing on £1,346.50 before doling out real cheques worth £33.66 (representing more than 15% interest on each player’s investment). In fact, such camaraderie developed that after Artists’ Lottery Syndicate disbanded as naturally as it came into being, many of the members set up The Artists’ Bond, a growing group that still invests in UK Savings & Investments Premium Bonds today!
And this brings us to both the beginning and end of our lottery syndicate story. Lottery syndicates are about hope, community and sharing the excitement of lotto wins, big or small!
Lottery Syndicates join together for the capacity to buy more lottery lines featuring a greater selection of number combinations than each member may be able to afford as an individual player. theLotter invites its members to experience playing with their colleagues, friends and family of legal age, as a way to improve the odds of winning whilst enjoying a regular dose of the collective spirit in the process.
*According to the mathematical formula for combinations, nCr, where n = selection range and r = number of selections, 9C2 = 9! / (2!(9-2)!) = 36 = the number of EuroMillions lines Artists’ Lottery Syndicate chose to play. For a more comprehensive look at lottery mathematics in the context of Italy’s SuperEnalotto, read A Little Lottery Secret – The Systematic Form!