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People's Lottery Giveaway hit by double whammy

The People’s £50 million Lottery Giveaway has been thrown into turmoil days before a winner is due to be announced on TV.

Four projects are vying for the £50 million prize money: Grimshaw’s Edge, an extension to the Eden Project in Cornwall; Make’s Sherwood Forest scheme (pictured); Moxon Architects and Knight Architects’ Black Country urban park; and charity Sustrans’ Connect2 scheme.

But, with the winner due to be announced on Friday, Tim Smit, chief executive of the Eden Project, has told The Sunday Times that the winner-takes-all format is fundamentally flawed.

He said: ‘If we now lose, we get nothing. It has been flawed from inception’.

And John Grimshaw, chief executive of Sustrans, told the paper: ‘The way that such a huge sum of money is being decided is quite crazy... it should, anyway, be the government which funds a project like this as they do in other countries.’

The attacks come on the back of ITV1 chiefs’ decision to drastically cut back air time and rescheduled the pre-vote programming for the huge giveaway.

Each scheme was scheduled to receive an hour-long peak-time slot on ITV1, during which four different presenters will appeal for the public’s vote. However, it has now been revealed that each show will air at 11.05pm and only be 10 minutes long.

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