Incredibly, THE NATIONAL LOTTERY is 25 years old. I’m going to give you a second to remember where you were when that first draw took place. If you’re of a certain age, we reckon you will. It was one of those defining and changing moments in our country. What no one could have really known, is just how massive an impact the NATIONAL LOTTERY has had, no more so than right here in South Wales.

First Lottery Draw

To celebrate this momentous occasion, charities and community groups throughout Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan are marking the incredible impact of the £457 million awarded to more than 7,700 good causes in the area over the last quarter of a century.

The first draw took place on 19 November 1994 and the 25th Birthday is a moment to celebrate the extraordinary impact the National Lottery has had on good causes in South Wales, in the areas of arts, sport, heritage and community. It’s a given that something we all use, see or participate in has been supported in some way by the Lottery.

Whether it’s funding for large iconic projects and landmarks; small community projects which make a big difference; producing the most amazing films; or supporting grassroots sports clubs – it’s thanks to National Lottery players, who raise more than £6.4 million each month for good causes in Wales, that brilliant projects which support our communities and make a vital and sustained contribution to our national life are possible.

One of our favourites and possibly the best to show how diverse the grant applications can be, is the phone box near Abergavenny which was awarded £3,000. The quirky phone box known as the “The Wonky Box of Bettws” was given the money to be transformed into a local community information point……

As part of the celebrations today, a unique map of Wales featuring 14 of the most iconic landmarks funded over the last 25 years will be unveiled. The map, created by Welsh Artist Hannah Davies, will be on display at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff, which is one of the iconic locations featured, from November 19th – 25th.

Map – Hannah Davies

The home of the performing arts in Wales, which opened in 2004, wouldn’t have existed without the £31.7 million invested from the National Lottery. Take a look at our other story to see what the Bay would look like if the WMC wasn’t there. DIDN’T EXIST

Wales Millennium Centre

The Principality Stadium is also featured on the map – At £46.4 million, the stadium, which was built to host the 1999 World Cup, is the largest single grant ever awarded to a project in Wales and is now regarded as one of the world’s finest sporting stadia and performance arenas.   

Principality Stadium

So many other local projects in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan have received National Lottery funding over the last 25 years, including:

  • £12.5 million to provide St Fagans National Museum of History in Cardiff with a makeover.  Wales’ largest and most popular heritage attraction celebrated its 70th birthday last year and the most significant redevelopment in its history was unveiled in time for the celebrations. This is also the largest grant awarded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund in Wales;
St Fagans (National Lottery Good Causes)
  • Breathing new life into the Grade II listed Dyffryn house and Grade I listed Edwardian garden (£6.7 million); and 
Dyffryn House
  • Sympathetically restoring the Grade II listed Penarth Pier and Pavillion back to its former glory – (£3.1 million)
Penarth Pier

In the last 25 years, more than £166 million of National Lottery funding has been invested to 17,300 grassroots sports projects in Wales – creating opportunities for everyone to get fit and improve their lives through sport. The National Lottery has also helped develop some of Wales’ most successful and recognisable Olympic and Paralympic athletes to thrive and achieve legendary status

Those who have reaped the rewards from the National Lottery funded World Class Programme from Wales over the years include Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson – one of Great Britain’s most successful athletes; and Geraint Thomas – the Tour de France winner and double Olympic Champion cyclist from Cardiff. The World Class Programme affords athletes coaching, training, and competition support, medical, technology and scientific services.

Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson & Sir Chris Hoy (National Lottery Good Causes)

70% of all National Lottery grants however have been for small amounts worth up to £10,000, bringing benefits to communities far and wide. These include:

  • £5,000 for Llanedeyrn Primary School in Cardiff to convert their basement storage room into a community workshop; 
  • £1,500 for the Mentor Ring Limited in Cardiff to support children with physical and learning disabilities to experience activities with their peers and to develop confidence and have fun together; and 
  • £5,400 for the restoration of memorial gates at Cowbridge Cricket Club.

Highlighting the impact of the National Lottery in Wales over the last 25 years, Nick Capaldi, Chair of the Wales National Lottery Forum and the Chief Executive of the Arts Council of Wales, said……….

“For 25 years, The National Lottery has been creating possibilities and making us proud of our communities whilst protecting the things we’re most passionate about in Wales. Without the funding, many of our most loved and iconic landmarks wouldn’t exist and many charities wouldn’t be changing lives to the scale they are now.”

Nick Capaldi

“The 25th Birthday is a time to recognise and reflect on the momentous and positive impact the National Lottery has had on the lives of people in communities throughout Wales.” 

Also released today – ‘What has the National Lottery Ever Done for Us?’ –  is a comedy film created by BAFTA nominated writer and director David Schneider, parodying the much-loved ‘What Have The Romans Ever Done For Us?’ scene from Monty Python’s Life Of Brian.

The short film is fronted by comedian Jimmy Carr and features a series of hilarious and surprising cameos from a host of famous faces, including Sir Chris Hoy, Rio Ferdinand, and Jane Horricks each heckling Jimmy with their own facts about The National Lottery’s positive impact on good causes.

So here are our own Welsh National Lottery Numbers……….

  • Over the past 25 years, over £1.75 billion has been invested into over 50,000 good causes in Wales, thanks to National Lottery players.
  • Every week, The National Lottery gives an average of £1.5 million to good causes in Wales, supporting more than 40 projects.
  • £8.4 million of National Lottery funding for Ffilm Cymru Wales, the development agency for Welsh film, has led to 73 Welsh films being produced; 226 filmmakers supported; 2,000 job and trainee placements created in the film and tv industry; and an £81.4 million investment in productions.   

Discover the positive impact playing the National Lottery has had on your community over the past 25 years by visiting here. LOTTERY and you can get involved yourself by using hashtag: #NationalLottery25.

For many of us playing and winning the NATIONAL LOTTERY is something we think we can only dream about, but then again, we’re sure that was the same for these lucky local winners.

The Davies family from Monmouth – £61.1M

As a family, the five each got £12million after their numbers came up. The five-strong syndicate made up of Stephanie Davies, her boyfriend Steve Powell, her sister Courtney, Mum Sonia, 53, and Sonia’s partner Keith Reynolds, from Monmouth, hit the jackpot and are now enjoying life as multi-millionaires.

Les Scadding – £45.5M

Les has been living the high life for a long time now. The former Newport lorry driver had been out of work for over a year when he won the £45.5m Euromillions jackpot in 2009. He told us….

“I’ve made my kids millionaires. I’ve got three kids and they’re all millionaires, because of me. And that makes me feel good inside.”

John Ackerman and John Stinchcombe – £11.5M

The two Johns’ had been friends all their life and scooped one of the biggest Welsh wins at the time some 12 years ago. They pair played three lines of numbers since it began 25 years ago.

The Catering Girls – 25M

The Catering Girls, as they became know worked and live in the Merthyr, Port Talbot areas. Of course the £4M they each had has given them a terrific lifestyle, being able to share the win and experience with each has certainly helped them stay grounded and focused.

Finally, if you want to take a look at the UK Millionaire Map and check out just how many people are ‘in the money’ where you live, then just go here. MAP


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