90s game show inspires cash prize initiative

Business partners Craig Donovan, at the front, and Scott Preston.
Business partners Craig Donovan, at the front, and Scott Preston.

A Knottingley entrepreneur has given away more than £9,000 in cash prizes after being inspired by a 1990s TV game show to launch his unusual business.

Craig Donovan and business partner Scott Preston came up with the simple idea of transforming telephone numbers into a free-to-play lottery game more than a decade ago, after getting the idea from Phillip Schofield and Claudia Winkleman’s Talking Telephone Numbers show. The pair have worked on the concept since they were students before finally launching luckyphone.co.uk in 2015.

Mr Donovan said: “When I was a student I was fascinated by Talking Telephone Numbers. I loved the strange and innovative ways the show came up with to find winners, but I never liked the way in which it encouraged people to rack up huge phone bills by dialling premium phone numbers.

“One of the reasons why I think the site has proved to be successful is that there aren’t really any losers. Even if a player only matches some of the numbers generated they receive points, and when they’ve got enough points money can be claimed through the website.”

Users can register up to six landline or mobile phone numbers. Each number acts like a lottery ticket and is entered into a daily prize draw with the chance to win prizes. Playing is free, with the prizes funded through site advertising. Prizes must be claimed within 24 hours and, if they aren’t, the money rolls over to the following day. Users can also collect points for matched numbers, allowing them a chance to claim a cash prize in the future.

To celebrate the website’s first anniversary, luckyphone.co.uk has launched a new mega prize £1,000 draw. Visit www.luckyphone.co.uk to register.