It’s a basic rule of Pools or Lotto that the more you stake the more likely you are to win and the best way to raise stakes is to get together with family, friends, workmates or colleagues and run a syndicate. Not only will you be more likely to win, but if you win big you’ll be with a whole lot of guys all in the same boat.

Being part of a syndicate can be fun and running them can be trouble-free as long you establish ground rules at the start and everyone sticks to them.

If you are forming or are already part of a syndicate, we suggest that all involved should sign a version of the following letter, and that each should keep a copy. By all means copy this into your DTP or word-processing package and edit it as you see fit.

Apart from making sure that everyone knows exactly where they stand, there are two other reasons to have a formal agreement. First, should the person whose name is on the entry sadly die (or die laughing - it has been known), then the other syndicate members need to have no problem disentangling themselves from Inheritance Tax. And secondly, although we have never heard of the Inland Revenue pursuing members of a Syndicate for Gift Tax or Income Tax, a letter like this means there can be no problem whatsoever.

If you are the syndicate organiser, we suggest you take a tough line on the payment of stakes and treat all individuals in exactly the same way. There’s nothing worse than having to chase up contributions for an entry that has already lost. It might be less hassle to collect stakes two, four, or even eight weeks at a time.

Open a special Building Society account for these stakes, and pay into this account any small wins that are hardly worth distributing amongst your members. At the end of the year, you might put the interest earned plus the accumulated mini-wins towards a Christmas lunch somewhere, or maybe a summer barbecue – all part of keeping people involved and making the syndicate experience fun.

If your syndicate is a group at work, ask the members to be conscientious about informing you of their holidays, so that they are paid up IN ADVANCE for the whole period they are away. And when you yourself go on holiday, appoint a Deputy to do the Classic Value entries and ensure they are submitted.

There are many possibilities, but it’s best to agree what you are going to do BEFORE YOU START and state your intentions clearly in the Group Policy section of the letter which follows:

SYNDICATE NAME:____________________________________________

SYNDICATE LEADER:__________________________________________

DATE OF FIRST ENTRY:________________________________________

We, the undersigned, have formed a Pools/Lotto* syndicate, staking a total of £—— each weekend of both the winter UK and summer Australian seasons. The Unit Stake is £—, so the Total UNITS making up the whole stake is ——. The table below shows how many units each member is paying.  *If Lotto, stake which draws – Euromillions, Thunderball, midweek Lotto, weekend Lotto or BOTH the latter.


(*Delete as appropriate)

  1. Our method of choosing games/numbers is:
  1. The plan or plans we shall be using is/are:
  1. In the event of a jackpot win, we have agreed to accept A) Complete Publicity, B) Partial Publicity, C) No Publicity whatsoever.*
  1. Payment to the Syndicate Leader must be made by the day of the matches/the day before the matches/?? days before the matches (or draws)/?? week(s) before the matches (draws)/for two/four/eight weeks at a time.*
  1. In the event of failure to pay, the syndicate leader agrees to: (a) cover the missing stake for up to ____ weeks on the understanding that he/she keeps 25% of any win due to the non-payer and that the non-payer has to pay all stakes owed in full before his/her right to keep all winnings due is restored, (b) offer the missing unit(s) to all members of the group for any members who want to chip in extra to cover, with the non-payer sacrificing the right to any share of any win, (c) do anything he/she suggests with which all members agree.*
  1. If anyone wishes to leave the syndicate, it is agreed they should give _____ weeks’ notice.
  1. We agree that any win less than £___ is too small for distribution, so we want all such wins to be put on one side/in the Building Society/under a mattress* ready to be staked on extra entries/spent on an occasional booze up/knees up/hold up/???*.

No. of TOTAL



















HOW TO CALCULATE WINNINGS: Divide the win by the TOTAL number of units to discover how much each Unit has won. Then pay each member according to the number of Units they have paid for.