After a year of planning, the launch of the York Student Lottery (YSL) is now imminent. The scheme recently achieved YUSU ratification and the six committee members hope that first draw will take place at the end of this term.
Tickets for the termly prize-draw will cost one pound, of which 49% will go into the prize-fund. The remainder will be distributed to good causes across the University by the committee in collaboration with YUSU.
The prize money is dependent on the number of tickets sold, but the committee estimates that 1,500 tickets would allow for three £250 prizes. Each ticket would carry a 1 in 500 chance of winning.
The scheme has been criticised for encouraging students to spend their money on gambling. As a result, Commercial Services have banned the sale of tickets at campus events. But its founders point out that students have un-regulated access to gambling via the internet, and cite a ten-ticket cap per student per term.
The charitable side of YSL has won approval from senior figures in the University. Professor John Toms, Head of the School of Management expressed his support of the scheme because it is “not for profit and 51% of the profits will be distributed to a ‘good cause’ that benefits the student community.”
The brainchild of James Jones, a third year management student, the scheme began as a compulsory modular project. A similar project launched at Lancaster University failed, but the committee is confident theirs will not follow suit. Jones emphasises that, in contrast to the community-minded aims of YSL, the Lancastrian scheme was “associated with money making.”