Saturday 18 November 2017

Vote Leave offers £50m prize to winner of Euro 2016 results contest

The competition is open to all registered voters over the age of 18
The competition is open to all registered voters over the age of 18

Vote Leave is offering a £50 million prize to any voter who can correctly predict every result of the European football championships - in a novel bid to engage people with the debate.

The pro-Brexit campaign hopes to use the contest to maximise the spread of its message by taking contact details from hundreds of thousands of armchair punters.

Anyone entering will also have to rate themselves on a scale of one to five as to whether they are more likely to back maintaining membership or divorce from Brussels.

The prize - chosen to match what the campaign says is the daily amount Britain spends on the EU - is covered by an insurance policy.

Sources concede that the odds of someone getting every result correct are extremely long however, and will give £50,000 to whoever gets the most right in a row from the start of the tournament.

The competition, open to all registered voters over the age of 18, is based on a similar competition run by US billionaire investor Warren Buffett involving the "March Madness" basketball in the US.

Hosts France take on Romania in the first game on June 10, with England and Wales in action for the first time the following day.

Campaign director Dominic Cummings said: "Too many people, particularly younger voters, don't engage in politics and do not plan to vote in the referendum.

"For years there's been a lot of talk about this problem but it's got worse - is an attempt to engage with large numbers of people who normally ignore politics.

"We'll be able to speak to them about the issues, give them some facts, and answer their questions.

"We want as many people as possible to know that we are sending life-changing sums to the EU every single day so we're giving them a chance to win it.

"It's a bigger prize than any one person has ever won on the National Lottery."

Brexit campaigns are winning the funding battle in the EU referendum war, raking in almost two and a half times more than their status quo-backing rivals between April 22 and May 12.

But Mr Cummings claimed they were "big underdogs" because the official Government position was in favour of Remain.

"The Government sets the rules. We don't get millions from the big investment banks and we can't spend millions of taxpayers' money like the In campaign," he said.

"We have to innovate."

To qualify for the £50 million, someone would have to correctly predict in advance the outcome of each group game, the line-up at the knockout stage and each subsequent game up to the final in Paris on July 10.

Vote Leave declined to say at this stage how much they had paid for the insurance policy - saying only that it would be "declared in the normal way".

The contest was "being funded specifically by two donors", they said.

Press Association

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