The draw takes place every second Saturday night with the results to be posted on
Some 58% of ticket sales are awarded in prizes while just 2% is for costs.
The remaining 40% is put into an Isle of Lewis Community Fund pot for grants to causes
such as Lewis Befriending, Alzheimer’s support, Bethesda Hospice, Samaritans, Aline
woodlands, Solas day centre, Crossroads and various play parks.
Competitors - the Western Isles Lifestyle Lottery - are kicking-off with a fanfare
event including a pipe band this Saturday. Ticket sales will be available at www.westernisleslottery.co.uk.
Robbie Macleod, the man behind the Local Lotteries venture was “shocked” to learn
he had a rival at the eleventh hour.
The first he knew was when they posted on social media recently, he said.
“I got in touch with them straight away. It was just a coincidence we both came up
with the same idea at the same time.”
Mr Macleod said his lottery is a “very good way of giving money to the local community.
It’s a fun and different way to do it.”
A lot of people in the Western Isles play the National Lottery and “I thought it
would be better if the money could stay in the community rather than going off the
He first thought of the concept two years ago during an entrepreneurial skills class
in his business course at Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh.
After the course finished the 21-year-old from Ranish, Lochs, continued to develop
One big hitch was trying to keep costs low after local marketing research showed
selling paper tickets was too expensive.
Mr Macleod explained: “I bought printers and thick card and went round the filling
stations and the two big supermarkets in Stornoway showing them my idea and getting
“From this I learned that I wouldn't be able to keep costs as low as I wanted and
there were additional problems with physical tickets so I decided I would make a
“40% goes back to the community which is run by the Isle of Lewis Community Fund
which I’ve also set up.
“People can vote on the website for where exactly the money goes and they can add
their own ideas for local causes to the poll.”
Tony Robson, chair of Western Isles Community Society which is running the other
lottery hopes islanders would support both as each have the same aims to help the
For years there were none and all of a sudden there’s two “but both are for the community
good and we hope people will support both.
“The problem is it is been progressively difficult to get funding for community events,
So instead of doing nothing we decided to do something about that.”
The Lifestyle lottery will raise money for projects and services which “aim to improve
the aesthetics and lifestyle of the islands in challenging financial times.
“This might be helping to fund floral displays, street art, Christmas and Hogmanay
events, play park upgrades, whatever communities want.”
He added: “All money raised for community benefit in an area will stay in that area.”
A company called Gatherwell has been hired to manage their lottery and will be paid
20% of the takings.
60p from each £1 ticket will go to the area in which the ticket was purchased, using
a postcode system.
Six existing community groups will manage the funds in their respective areas by
liaising with local residents to ascertain their wishes on spending the funding.
Stornoway Amenity Trust will manage the Broadbay area, Harris Voluntary Services
will manage the Harris area, while Barra and Vatersay Community Limited have signed
up to manage their own local funds.