Author: Tony MacDonald
Published: 13:47 09/11/2014
After running National Lottery operator Camelot for 14 years, Dianne Thompson has stepped down and can now enjoy playing lotto.
Enjoying the game she helped to make so successful had never been allowed beacuse of her position, but she is looking forward to being able to buy lotto tickets.
The Lottery launched in November 1994 and was in decline not long after she joined with lotto players beginning to realise that the odds of winning the jackpot were in excess of 14 million to one.
Thompson oversaw development of new games and a rebrand of the main draw to the name it has today, Lotto. She wanted to double the entry money and boost jackpots and it was not long before Camelot teamed up with its European partners to create EuroMillions. Outlets were increased and online lotto became a major focus, there were approximately 23,000 retailers when she was named CEO and there are over 40,000 today.
She also fought, lost to and then defeated Sir Richard Branson. His People’s Lottery won the second licence to run the National Lottery in 2000, only for Camelot to overturn the decision on judicial review.
She won’t be resting in retirement having purchased The George Hotel in Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight. There are plans to turn it into a gourmet destination and she is looking forward to her new role acting as maître d’ and waiting on the tables.