THIS month it will be 25 years since people in Furness have had the opportunity to take part in the National Lottery and it has brought wins to many ticket-holders and good causes.

To mark the anniversary we are taking a look at a few lottery pictures and stories from The Mail Archive since it all began on November 19 in 1994 with the first televised draw..

In the early days people were so convinced that they would win in the weekly contest - run on behalf of the Government by Camelot -that big queues formed at shops, garages, off-licences and post offices to buy tickets.

The Mail, on November 14 in 1994, noted: "The chance of a big win on the National Lottery brought would-be punters out in their hundreds in Barrow this morning.

"Queues formed at the doors of some stores even before they opened and once they did, ticket staff found themselves snowed under.

"Even at smaller outlets punters were parting with cash for a shot at the £2m jackpot.

"But there was disappointment at Ulverston, the machine at the Co-op, the only one in town, is still not linked in to the national system.

"And it could be Christmas before tickets can be issued from the store."

The Mail, on Wednesday, November 15 in 1995, looked back on the first full year of the national cash draw and noted: "More than half-a-million tickets are sold in Cumbria each week with the busiest single outlet being Richard James newsagents in Workington.

"Other retailers make average weekly sales worth£4,000."

Among charities to receive a cash boost in the first 12months of the National Lottery was Millom Amateur Operatic Trust, which received £7,000, and Barrow's Table Tennis Centre of Excellence, which gained£9,060.

Shop owners were doing well out of staying open later on Saturdays to sell tickets, including Eric Longstaff at Askam post office.

He told the Mail in November 1995: "It is chaotic inhere. I often look up and think I can see a queue of 70 or 80 people.

"Camelot is certainly not making any money out of Askam. I seem to be about the only person here who wasn't won yet."

Gareth Howson, manager at the Newby Bridge service station, had no competition for ticket sales in an eight-mile radius.

He said in 1995: "People drive here from miles around.

"We are transformed on a Saturday night with queues of car drivers pulling up to buy tickets.

"Some of them fill up at the same time and almost everyone makes impulse purchases such as cigarettes, sweets and newspapers."

Ron Beaumont, at Millom post office, said there had been ticket sales of £200,000 in the first four months of offering lottery tickets.