My Visit to The National Lottery Big Ticket Show at the Shepperton Studios, UK


The National Lottery Big Ticket at the BBC.

At the bottom of this page, are the results of the TV Dreams Home Play game.

I was lucky enough to get hold of a ticket to The National Lottery Big Ticket Show at the Shepperton Studios in Middlesex (about 10 miles out of London) on 6 June 1998. I applied for my ticket, 9 weeks before the show date and received it 10 days before the show. You cannot specify a date, as the tickets are free and given out on the bases of first come, first serve. If you have read my visit of the National Lottery Live page, it mention that I went to London by train. This time, I drove down, as someone told me that it lasts for ages and public transport was not suitable.

How to be a contestant on the National Lottery Big Ticket. It is not easy. First of all, you have to buy a TV Dreams scratchcard which cost 2. Then you try and match 3 stars on the Scratchcard. There is a 1 in a 100,000 chance of appearing on the show. Then you will be invited to the studio. As far as I know, they put the winning players in a hotel the night before and after the show. They get treated very well. There are four teams. The red, yellow, blue and green. Each team consist of 2 winning players who just sits in the winning circle through out the show. They have no say in any of the games. Also in each team, there is one celebrity and someone who represents a charity who have already received a lottery grant. The celebrities in this show were Cheryl Baker (Red Team), Howard Stapleford (Yellow Team), Dean Holdsworth (Green Team) and Clare Crogan (Blue Team).

On Saturday 6 June 1998, after I finished work at 12noon, I started to drove down from Ledbury via Gloucester, Cheltenham and Oxford at 1pm and arrived at 4pm. I stopped at Gloucester for 30 minutes. I drove from the A417, then A40, M40 motorway, the dreaded M25 motorway, A30 and finally, the A308. I got slight lost about 5 miles from Shepperton Studios!

I manage to find the entrance. It wasn't signed post well!. There was even a multi storey car park at the Studios. After parking, there was a 5 minute walk to the Studio.

When I arrived at the studio, I had my ticket validated by a sticker and went in. Please note. I am still outside! Where once there was a car park, was the outside set of the Car Race. I went further on and went into the Audience Marquee. There, I was allow one drink and I had a coke. Forget the Fizzy Drink scare we had in the UK that week. I'll risk it. Luckily, it was free. The BBC giving away free drinks!. Yes, it is true. It is not just soft drinks, but alcoholic drinks as well!.

There is one important note about the National Lottery Big Ticket. It is NOT LIVE but RECORDED to be shown the next week. Due to the France 98 world cup, Belgium vs Holland, which is shown the next Saturdays Show, the timing of the recording was put back by 1 hour.

I then walked outside, and at the right moment, there were just started filming of the car race. This was around 4:30pm. It was all over in less than a few seconds. On the TV show, it looks like it goes on forever, but in real life, it only took 5 seconds to get from one end of the set to the other. The car wash, where the constants who gets the wrong answer, gets wet. This was a fire hose and it was spraying for about 15 seconds. They do get a real soaking!

5pm. We all headed into the studio. This time, there are no security checks. Do they trust us now! I managed to get a seat in the fourth row near the centre.

5.20pm. The entertainment starts. Someone came onto the set to entertain us for the whole evening. He sang the theme from the Blues Brothers. Then he asked the studio audience to say hello to whoever we are sitting next to. Then say hello to the front and behind. Then he asked to either shake hands or kiss them! However, most of the studio audience didn't kiss them!

5.40pm. We were told about what to do. The studio audience sang the theme from Dad's Army. After 2 attempts, we were then told that they will be filming it. We sang it another 2 times. This part was not shown on the TV show. We were then told that when Patrick mention Belgium, we all cheered. When he mention Holland, we all booed. It was the Belgium vs Holland match in the World Cup the next Saturday. When Patrick mention "a possible jackpot of 100,000", we should keep quiet.

6pm. The recording begins. Anthea and Patrick comes onto the stage. They did the usual bit about introduction to the show and when Patrick mention Belgium, we all cheered. When Holland was mention, we all booed. When he mention about the jackpot, some of the audience cheered, but that was a mistake! On the TV show, it was cut out!

6.10pm. The cameras took in turn and filmed each team colour. The camera all moved from one team to another. The video wall was moved in between shoots. The winning Scratchcard winners and Anthea, all had make up. This part of the show, which normally takes 10 minutes on the TV, took about 45 minutes to film!

6.55pm. Chris Rea came on stage to perform his song. I think he was mining it!

7.00pm. It was extremely hot in the studio!. Because of the Car race which was filmed at 4.30pm, they went onto the next game, the lift game. The object of the game, was to jump into the lift and answer 3 multiple question. Get an answer right and the lift goes up to the next level. Get an answer wrong and the lift won't move for 10 seconds. Call it a 10 second penalty. Because of two teams, got the wrong answer, they had a 10 second penalty before getting into the lift. Once at the top, they slide down a zig zag type tube, back to the bottom and the home run. The winning colour team will not be announced here until it appears on TV. The team which came in last was eliminated and get knocked out. The losing Green team gets 2,000 each, that is the Winning Players and not the celebrities who played the games. We couldn't see the question which the team has to answer. On the TV show, Patrick gave a running commentary and Music was added. I did not here the buzzer when the teams finished when I was there but it was added on. In other words, when filming this, it was silent, except for the cheering.

7.20pm. Anthea then spoke to the Green team about continuing. They did 2 re-takes and then it was cut out from the TV show. She spoke to one of the contestant saying if he like Dad's Army. He said No twice. It was then edited out! The set was moved, ready for the next game. Now, the three teams left all took part of a Dad's Army quiz. Guess the characters and win some points. The Green team did very well, answering 4 out of the 5 characters. Then they had to answer a question about that character. They won points on 3 questions. They got one wrong. It was down to the last question, in which, the Green team guess incorrected. The red team managed to get some points, enough to get through to the next round. The final score was Green-84, Red-15 and Yellow-0. The losing Yellow team members won 3,000 each. They then filmed the losing team members.The game actually took longer to film than to show on TV, due to the length of time to answer the question. On the set, they had a long pause to think about the answer, but on the TV show, this was edited and it seems that they knew the answer straight away. Also, the backing track of Dad's Army was added on the TV Show.

7.40pm. There was now a break, when most of the crew and the studio audience left the studio and headed outside, either to the marquee, the field where the next game is filmed or the toilet! For the rest of the studio audience which stayed, about 1/4 of the whole studio, we all watched the Show which was filmed the previous week and show on BBC1 that day. All of a sudden, TV Dreams T-shirts were flying around the studio. I managed to get one! This was given out as a reward for staying!!

8.05pm. The big video wall showed what was happening outside. The next game. It was the 4 by 4 off road vehicles and a caravan. The object of the games was to drive the vehicle around a track and then half way, they changed drivers and then picked up a caravan. The winner was the Red team. Then the caravan blew up!. The losing Blue team member won 4,000 each. On the TV show, it looks like that both teams ran out of the cars towards Patrick after they arrived. Not quite true. They actually got out of the car for some time.

8.30pm. A bit of an accident happened. The video wall gets moved around a lot. It was supposed to go outside, but because they didn't raised the door high enough, the video wall crashed in the door!. It was a bit of a panic, when they quickly repaired the door!

8.35pm. A bit of fun. A young woman from America picked from the Studio Audience, went on stage to do a bit of line dancing, while the person who kept us entertained with jokes throughout the evening sang "Dance the Night Away". It was very amusing. While this was going on, the finishing touch of the wheel where the winning players photos were place on the wheel was done.

8.40pm. At this time, the wheel was check by Neil Dickins, the National Lottery Referee, to make sure the wheel is working correctly. There is a sort of a flap to separate the faces on the wheel. The wheel rose from the studio floor and then Patrick came back on stage and asked Cheryl Baker from the Red team to spin the wheel. This is like a roulette wheel, where one of the two team members of the Red team will go through and win the jackpot. It landed on someone and that person went through the door. The other team member won 5,000.

8.50pm. The big video wall came back in. This time, it was showing the end game. In this game, there are six giant boxes, in which they blow open 5 doors. Each box contained a figure of either 5,000, 10,000, 15,000, 20,000 and 50,000. There has to be a nothing square. Blow this and get nothing for that box. All the boxes where open by a detonator. On the TV show, the explosion sound affects were added. Five boxes were opened. The boxes in order were : box 3-20,000, box 2-50,000, box 6-10,000, box 1-5,000, box 4-15,000 and the final winning amount was the top jackpot of 100,000. On the set, he opened the sixth box, to make sure it was a zero. Patrick pressing the button 5 was not shown on the TV Show, but the zero box was shown.

9.00pm. This is a strange one. They then filmed the second game losing team about getting 3,000 each. This is normally shown after the second game. Then they filmed the third game losing team about getting 4,000 each.

9.05pm And finally, they filmed the closing sequence about the winning red team coming out of the safe celebrating.

9.10pm. It was all over. Time to get back home.

Other useful facts : Patrick did a few retakes and so did Anthea. Between 7.30pm and 8.15pm, Anthea disappeared and went backstage to change into last weeks clothes, ready for the Lottery draw. This was shown live on TV and not recorded. We didn't see the draw, but it was announced to the studio audience about 30 minutes after the draw. The TV home play game was also shown live on BBC1 but the studio audience didn't see it either. The TV programme is a mixture of a live and recorded show. The recording was filmed out of sequence for some of the events. Looking at the TV show, it looks like that I appeared on TV for a good 1 minute! I sat behind the blue team.

I didn't managed to get home until 12.05am the next morning!

That's it. I hope you have a feel of what it is like to be an audience for The National Lottery Big Ticket. My diary of events at The National Big Ticket. This programme was transmitted on Saturday 13 June 1998 at 6.45pm on BBC1.


TV Dreams Results

The National Lottery Big Ticket Show commenced on Saturday 28 March 1998 and finished on Saturday 11 July 1998. If you have a winning TV Dream Tickets and playing the home viewer game, check your numbers here. Match the first number and you win 10. Match the first and second number, in the same order and win 50. Match first, second and third number in the same order and win 1,000. Match all four numbers in the same order and you have won 50,000. Your TV Dream Scratchcard is valid for all 16 draws. You had 180 days to claim any winnings from the end of the last show. Far Too Late now!

Due to an error in the first draw, the third number was redrawn. Camelot will honour both sets of numbers.

Draw Date 1st 2nd 3rd 4th   Studio Winner Jackpot Prize Winning Team Colour
01 Saturday 28 March 1998 49 11 35 55 85,000 Red
Redrawn Saturday 28 March 1998 49 11 31 55 **** ****
02 Saturday 4 April 1998 72 07 36 86 90,000 Green
03 Saturday 11 April 1998 44 06 38 52 90,000 Yellow
04 Saturday 18 April 1998 82 09 28 52 90,000 Blue
05 Saturday 25 April 1998 57 15 49 80 80,000 Green
06 Saturday 2 May 1998 73 06 37 72 85,000 Green
07 Saturday 9 May 1998 48 19 42 90 50,000 (Lowest Wins) Green
08 Saturday 16 May 1998 09 14 46 77 90,000 Red
09 Saturday 23 May 1998 59 03 22 75 95,000 Yellow
10 Saturday 30 May 1998 51 07 21 89 100,000 (Highest Wins) Blue
11 Saturday 6 June 1998 87 11 27 87 50,000 (Lowest Wins) Red
12 Saturday 13 June1998 60 15 04 52 100,000 (Highest Wins) Red
13 Saturday 20 June1998 62 08 42 86 95,000 Yellow
14 Saturday 27 June 1998 20 02 41 59 90,000 Red
15 Saturday 4 July 1998 77 13 21 54 95,000 Green
16 Saturday 11 July 1998 30 20 36 73 50,000 (Lowest Wins) Red


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