Hibs today launched their own lottery offering one lucky fan the chance of winning a staggering £18.2 million jackpot within the next 48 hours.
The Easter Road outfit have become the first club in Scotland to enter into partnership with Lotto Network, with a “substantial percentage” of every £1 ticket bought going directly to manager Pat Fenlon’s budget. And following the success of Arsenal, who launched a similar scheme earlier this season, expectations are high that it will prove to be a money-spinning venture.
Running along similar lines to the National Lottery, HibernianLotto.com will feature draws every Wednesday and Saturday with weekly jackpots expected to average almost £5m, a series of rollovers means the first taking place tomorrow means a mammoth £18.2m is at stake. Russell Smith, head of Hibs’ commercial department, revealed the idea of a lottery came from the Easter Road fans themselves.
He said: “During our supporter forum ‘Let’s Work Together’ the club asked for any ideas that supporters could directly contritube to the manager’s player budget in addition to season ticket membership which is our core revenue stream. An idea of introducing a lotto was suggested and we then started investigating the options within this market.”
As a result, Hibs struck a deal with Lotto Network, a brand of lottery-betting company My Lotto24.Ltd, itself a subsidiary of Hamburg-based online lottery games operator Tipp24 SE.
Smith said: “MyLotto24 offers a unique betting proposition that is very similar from a player-perspective to the traditional lottery product that is available within the UK. The opportunity to offer supporters the chance to win life changing amounts of money while contributing directly to the manager’s budget for only £1 entry is a very exciting prosect.”
“Weekly jackpots are expected to average almost £5m and rollovers like this Saturday can run into tens of millions.”
However, Smith pointed out entry to the draw wasn’t confined to Hibs fans with anyone over the age of 18 able to play on-line for single or multiple draws, full details of which are available on the club’s official website.
Julian Morel, head of business development for Lotto Network, said: “We are delighted to partner Hibernian Football Club to launch the first initiative of this kind in Scotland and look forward to Hibernian Lotto contributing financially to the club’s continued success.”
Meanwhile, former Hibs captain Kevin Thomson could be returning to the club on a short-term deal.
The 28-year-old midfielder has been training with Fenlon’s squad for the past couple of weeks after being released by Middlesbrough last week and it is understood talks are currently at an advanced stage.
While some reports suggested Thomson was poised to sign a two-year contract, the Evening News understands negotiations centre on a deal until the end of the season as Fenlon’s players bid for a top six finish in the SPL and a second successive William Hill Scottish Cup final.
Thomson, who quit Hibs for Rangers in 2007, is understood to be willing to accept a “nominal” salary, recognising the opportunity to play in Hibs’ remaining matches would give him the chance to attract possible future employers while helping his old club achieve their goals.