Numbers of Wiltshire Air Ambulance lotto players soaring high

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: There has been a big rise in the number of people playing the Wiltshire Air Ambulance lottery There has been a big rise in the number of people playing the Wiltshire Air Ambulance lottery

The Wiltshire Air Ambulance lottery has had a big increase in the number of people playing it.

In the past year more than 6,400 new players joined the lottery, bringing the total number of players to 21,773. The lottery raises more than £500,000 a year for the air ambulance.

Tickets for the Wiltshire Air Ambulance lottery cost £1 a week, with a top prize of £1,000 and four £25 weekly prizes.

The charity uses canvassers to recruit new players, but from spring 2014 people will also be able to sign up to the charity’s lottery via its website.

In Easter 2014 the charity also plans to launch a Superdraw, which will offer a £25,000 monthly prize.

Claire Kelly, head of events and charity services at Wiltshire Air Ambulance, said: “We are extremely grateful to the many thousands of Wiltshire people who are already supporting our lottery.

"By joining the lottery people are helping to secure the long-term future of our life-saving service.

"As we don’t receive any government or National Lottery funding, we are totally reliant on the generosity and support of local people to keep us flying.

“The money raised from our lottery provides regular, steady income, one that we can rely on and can be used to help purchase equipment or kit for the helicopter, provide additional training for our paramedics or simply to fund essential items such as aviation fuel.

"Regular income like this enables the charity to plan ahead.”

The air ambulance charity has to pay £700,000 a year for the joint air ambulance/police helicopter, but when the contract ends in December 2014 the charity will have to raise £2.5m a year to fund its own helicopter.

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