UK National Lottery draw delayed as Disney film crew sets studio on fire

Posted: March 16, 2022, 8:16 a.m.

Last update: March 16, 2022, 10:39 a.m.

On Tuesday morning, UK national lottery operator Camelot discovered its new bid for the £80bn ($108bn) lotto contract it had held since 1994 had failed. To cap off a dismal day for the operator, on Tuesday night the lottery draw was derailed when a Disney film crew shot a White as snow remake next door inadvertently started a fire that caused a mass evacuation of the studios.

National lottery
An image of the Pinewood Studio fire which derailed the UK National Lottery draw on the same day operator Camelot lost an £80billion contract with the UK government (Image: The sun).

A dozen fire engines were called to tackle the blaze at England’s famous Pinewood Studios, 20 miles west of central London.

Witnesses who spoke to The daily mail said they heard explosions in the studios. Footage in the UK media this morning showed the film set engulfed in flames. No one was injured in the fire.

A source said The sun that “a setting made up of woods and trees, etc. caught fire and spread throughout the rest of the Pinewood main studio set.

“Incredible disappointment”

Camelot said Wednesday night that the Thunderball and Euromillions draw had to be moved to a secondary venue because of the fire. As a result, there was no live broadcast of the draw on the Lottery’s YouTube channel. Customers were told to check the National Lottery website for the results, which emerged much later than usual.

Earlier today Camelot chief executive Nigel Railton expressed his “incredible disappointment” at losing the multi-billion pound contract. Railton added that Camelot was “carefully reviewing the Gambling Commission’s assessment before deciding on our next steps.”

This could include a legal challenge.

The winner is Allwyn Entertainment, a UK subsidiary of Czech lottery giant Sazka.

Russian assets

Sazka’s owner is Czech oil and gas tycoon Karel Komarek. In 2016, his company MND built an underground gas storage facility in the Czech Republic in partnership with Russian energy group Gazprom.

Komarek denounced the Russian invasion of Ukraine as “a senseless act of aggression which must be condemned in the strongest possible terms”.

I made the decision many years ago to divest and exit Russian assets, with the exception of a stake in a gas terminal, which we have been trying to exit for several years, and a joint venture 50/50 with Gazprom on an underground gas storage facility in the Czech Republic”, Komarek said in a statement last month.

The UKGC said it was “satisfied that all applicants are fit and suitable to run the National Lottery” and “satisfied that no applications are affected by any sanctions related to the conflict in Ukraine”.

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