Unclaimed prizes (for years 2020 to 2022)
Please could you provide a comprehensive list of all unclaimed Lotto, EuroMillions, Thunderball, Millionaire Maker, and Millionaire raffle prizes for the years 2020/2021 and 2021/2022?
I understand that unclaimed prizes are registered as such after 180 days, so the details of any unclaimed prizes you provide should date from the 1st November, 2020 to 1st November 2021 and 1st November 2021 to 1st November 2022.
Thank you for your request which has been processed under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).
In your email you have requested a comprehensive list of all unclaimed Lotto, EuroMillions, Thunderball, Millionaire Maker, and Millionaire raffle prizes for the years 2020/2021 and 2021/2022?
I can confirm that the Gambling Commission does hold information falling within the scope of your request. However, based on previous requests of a similar nature, it has been calculated that it takes between 12-14 hours to produce this information for one 12-month period with a reduced scope (such as unclaimed prizes over the value of £50,000) .
Section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) makes provision for public authorities to refuse requests for information where the cost of dealing with them would exceed the appropriate limit, which for public authorities, such as the Commission, is set at £450. This represents the estimated cost of one person spending 18 hours in determining whether the department holds the information, locating, retrieving and extracting the information.
We estimate that it would take in excess of 18 hours to determine appropriate material and locate, retrieve and extract any relevant information in reference to your request as there is a high volume of records which may contain relevant information and would need to be checked individually.
When a public authority applies the Section 12 exemption to a request, the FOIA guidance specifically states that a public authority should avoid providing any information found as a result of a search as it denies the requestor the right to express a preference as to which parts of the request they may wish to receive within the appropriate time limit. Guidance on the application of section 12 can be viewed here:
https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisations/documents/1199/costs_of_compliance_exceeds_appropriate_limit.pdf (opens in new tab)
If you are able to narrow your request, we may be able to provide some data by working up to the time limit.
Until we are able to process the search and retrieval of the information you have requested, that can be provided within the statutory time limit, we are unable to ascertain if other exemptions will apply to the material retrieved, which would also prevent disclosure.
Please note, any refined request would be processed as a new request and the 20 working day statutory time limit would apply.
Review of the decision
If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your Freedom of Information request you are entitled to an internal review of our decision. You should write to FOI Team, Gambling Commission, 4th floor, Victoria Square House, Victoria Square, Birmingham, B2 4BP or by reply to this email.
Please note, internal review requests should be made within 40 working days of the initial response. Requests made outside this timeframe will not be processed.
If you are not content with the outcome of our review, you may then apply directly to the Information Commissioner (ICO) for a decision. Generally, the ICO cannot make a decision unless you have already exhausted the review procedure provided by the Gambling Commission.
The ICO can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office (opens in a new tab), Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.
Information Management Team
Victoria Square House
Birmingham B2 4BP