Let the celebrations begin: The National Lottery is 25

Let the celebrations begin: The National Lottery is 25

David Mach’s new artwork, ‘United By Numbers: The National Lottery at 25’
Today marks the beginning of six weeks of celebrations for The National Lottery’s 25th Birthday.

To kick things off, a new piece of modern art by world-renowned artist, David Mach RA, is being unveiled in an unlikely setting.  

Mach's composition, United By Numbers: The National Lottery at 25, is being exhibited for one day in the window of Booth & Howarth on Mauldeth Road, Manchester. The newsagent has been selling National Lottery tickets for 25 years.

David Mach’s new artwork, ‘United By Numbers: The National Lottery at 25’
David Mach's artwork United By Numbers: The National Lottery at 25


The artwork features a mix of famous and lesser-known national treasures including people, places, projects and icons that have been part of extraordinary things made possible by The National Lottery. 

From the Morecambe Brass Band, one of the first projects to ever receive National Lottery funding, to Betty Webb, a Second World War codebreaker from Bletchley Park, the impressive lineup is set against a backdrop of National Lottery-funded venues including Jodrell Bank and Giant’s Causeway, composed in David Mach’s signature collage style.

All of these individuals and places have one thing in common: they have all been positively impacted by The National Lottery over the past 25 years.

Betty Webb said: “It’s a privilege to be part of this special celebration and appear in this wonderful image. Bletchley Park is a key part of our heritage, and The National Lottery has helped tremendously in ensuring it can be enjoyed for future generations.”

The artist's take

artist David Mach
Artist David Mach


Reflecting on the inspiration for his new piece, David Mach said: “For the past 25 years, there is barely a part of our cultural, sporting and community life that has not been positively influenced by National Lottery funding.

"I wanted to help people to get a sense of this impact with this artwork through 25 stories, and to have it shown on a local high street for anyone to view is fitting.”

Key to the image:

Key to David Mach’s new artwork, ‘United By Numbers: The National Lottery at 25’


  1. The Kelpies: The world's largest equine sculptures in Falkirk's Helix park were designed by Andy Scott. The Kelpies have received £25million of funding from The National Lottery. 
  2. Katarina Johnson-Thompson and Dina Asher-Smith: gold medal-winners for Great Britain and Northern Ireland at the World Athletics Championships, both of whom have received National Lottery funding during their careers. 
  3. Courtney Cooper: Cooper is from Monkstown Boxing Club in Northern Ireland whose #INYOURCORNER project helps improve the health, wellbeing and employability of young people in the area. The InYourCorner project has received almost £600,000 of funding through The National Lottery.
  4. Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson: One of the greatest athletes in history and winner of 11 Paralympic gold medals, received National Lottery funding during her career.
  5. Dementia Dogs Project: The National Lottery has supported the Dementia Dogs Project, which helps those caring for loved ones with early stage dementia by providing assistance dogs in Scotland. Dementia Dogs has received £314,000 of funding through The National Lottery.
  6. The Hendrix Flat: The legendary rock guitarist’s flat at 23 Brook Street, London was restored thanks to £1.2m in funding from The National Lottery in 2014.
  7. James Nesbitt: Star of the film Bloody Sunday, patron of WAVE Trauma, Action Cancer, and Big Telly Company; and Chancellor of Ulster University - all recipients of National Lottery funding.
  8. Sir Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton: Gold medal-winning Olympians whose careers culminated at London 2012. The games that would not have been possible without National Lottery funding.
  9. Morecambe Brass Band: One of the first-ever projects to receive National Lottery funding. The band was set up by Bernard Vause and is still going strong. Morecambe Brass Band received £47,566 through The National Lottery - they still play with the 24 brass instruments they bought with that funding.
  10. Sir Tim Smit: Founder of the popular Eden Project and The Big Lunch, which were both made possible thanks to funding from The National Lottery Community Fund. Eden Project has received £60m of funding through The National Lottery.
  11. Giant’s Causeway: The National Lottery Heritage Fund invested £3m in building a visitor centre at the Giant's Causeway, providing a beautiful view of the North Coast landscape.
  12. Ray and Barbara Wragg: After winning £7.6m on The National Lottery, Ray and Barbara Wragg are some of the most generous winners after giving away £5.5m, mostly to charities in Sheffield.
  13. We’re Here Because We’re Here soldiers (also far right): We’re Here Because We’re Here, by Jeremy Deller, was just one part of a large-scale cultural programme marking the Centenary of the First World War. The National Lottery invested £15m over five years in this programme.
  14. Tracey Emin: Emin’s artwork has been exhibited at National Lottery-funded galleries across the country, including at the Turner Contemporary art Ggallery in her hometown of Margate.
  15. Gurinder Chadha: English film director whose much-loved film Bend it Like Beckham, starring Keira Knightley in her breakout role, is just one example of films funded with National Lottery funding through the BFI, awarded £945,000.
  16. Jodrell Bank: Supported by The National Lottery, the First Light Project conserves the heritage of Jodrell Bank for future generations, thanks to £12.1m of funding from The National Lottery. 
  17. Edna Smith: A volunteer for 15 years with charity Home-Start, which has received over £1m of funding through The National Lottery. Edna has helped hundreds of families recover from postnatal depression.
  18. Ewan McGregor: Actor who featured in T2: Trainspotting, one of the first productions to benefit from Creative Scotland’s Production Growth Fund of £500,000 supported by The National Lottery.
  19. Rio Ferdinand: Pundit and former England footballer whose Rio Ferdinand Foundation, which exists to help tackle social issues, has received £668,000 of funding through The National Lottery.
  20. Suffragettes: The National Lottery has supported projects across the country exploring the history of the suffragette movement, including the 2015 film, Suffragette (£1m); The Face of Suffrage artwork and the East End Suffragettes project.
  21. Idris Elba: Award-winning actor, writer and producer. With the help of £1m National Lottery funding he made his directorial debut in 2018 with Yardie.
  22. Betty Webb: Betty is a 96-year-old veteran of Bletchley Park. In 2011, The National Lottery helped restore the decaying huts in which Betty and other codebreakers worked. Bletchley Park has received £5m of funding through The National Lottery.
  23. The Principality Stadium: Ahead of the 1999 Rugby World Cup, £46m of National Lottery funding was secured to build Cardiff’s iconic stadium.
  24. Paul Sinton-Hewitt: Founder of parkrun, the free weekly five kilometre runs open to all enjoyed by over two million people across the UK. Parkrun has received over £3m of funding through The National Lottery.
  25. Krystal Lowe: Dancer for Ballet Cymru, which received  around £930,000 funding from The National Lottery allowing them to expand its outreach work with local communities. 

Watch this space

Over the next six weeks, until 6 December, The National Lottery will be unveiling a range of activities, including free events for the whole of the UK to enjoy. 

Celebrate with us the incredible difference the National Lottery has made by taking a closer look at how £8bn of funding for heritage has changed people’s lives and made communities better places to live.

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