Lottery owner Camelot and the government are considering a one-off lottery prize of £50m to revive flagging sales.

Culture secretary Tessa Jowell and Camelot chiefs are reported to have agreed to use the £40m a year of unclaimed prize money for a single jackpot draw to emulate Spain’s successful El Gordo - ‘the fat one - which attracts 75% of the Spanish population when it is drawn during the Christmas festivities.

The new draw would require an amendment to lottery regulations to use the pot of unclaimed prize money.