Former National Lottery boss is made a Dame

FORMER NATIONAL Lottery boss Dame Dianne Thompson has joked she is now a lottery player - and winner - as she was made a Dame Commander.

Former National Lottery boss Dame Dianne Thompson who was made a Dame Commander by the Princess Royal, in recognition of her successful 14-year period as chief executive of Camelot at an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle.

The Princess Royal bestowed the honour on Batley-born Dame Dianne in recognition of her successful 14-year period as chief executive of Camelot, which runs the lottery.

After the Windsor Castle investiture ceremony, she said: “I’m playing now because of course at Camelot we weren’t allowed to play - and I’ve actually had a £25 win, so I’m a winner.”

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Speaking about being made a Dame Commander, she added: “It’s fantastic but, like anything, this award belongs to a whole team of people.

“Yes I’ve led the team, but without them we couldn’t have achieved what we’ve done and the lottery’s raised £33 billion for good causes which is just amazing.”

During her time at the helm, she won two licence competitions to keep hold of the business and secured a four-year extension to the current licence, which ends in 2023.

Record sales of £7 billion in 2012/13 compare with £5 billion in 2000/1, while her period in charge created more than 3,500 lottery millionaires, with £3.7 billion paid out in prize money last year - 50 per cent more than in 2000/1.

Dame Dianne joined Camelot in 1997 as its commercial operations director, before taking the top job three years later.

Before that she was a marketing executive for firms including ICI and Woolworths.

World Cup winner Rochelle Clark, a prop in the England women’s rugby union team and the nation’s most capped female player, was awarded an MBE.

Kate Richardson-Walsh, captain of England and Great Britain women’s hockey teams, was also awarded an MBE.