THE biggest win on Britain's six-month-old National Lottery so far was GBP14 million (HK$168 million) by an Asian factory worker in northwest England. He was denounced by his mosque for gambling, a relative is suing him claiming he lent him the stake money, he was plagued by begging letters and has now gone into hiding. Arguably the next biggest winner is Winston Churchill, the Tory MP and grandson of the wartime leader who has just been given nearly GBP13 million (HK$156 million) out of the lottery takings so the state could acquire documents written by Churchill even though most originated while he was in office and so, in the eyes of many, should be state papers anyway. The greatest loser has been the poor chap who killed himself after using the same numbers for several weeks. One week he forgot to buy a ticket and the numbers he would have used were selected. Other losers have been those who played a scratch card version of the game called Instant. Shopkeepers have discovered they can tamper with the cards to see which contain winning numbers. After 23 weeks in operation Britain's first venture into state avarice is turning into a farce. Its aim was always allegedly to create money for charities, sports, so-called heritage projects and the ridiculous millennium fund through which great buildings and other schemes will be launched to mark the year 2000. But there is little sign of that and punters are calling for the heads of Stephen Dorrell, the Heritage Minister and the Government's face of the lottery, and Lord Rothschild, head of the well-heeled panel who decide which cause gets a share. Not content with GBP13 million for Winston Churchill, Lord Rothschild delighted nobody outside the hunting and shooting set this week by purchasing Mar Lodge in Scotland for the nation out of lottery funds. It will get GBP10 million. Mar Lodge is the finest deer stalking estate in Scotland and, as such, is absolutely irrelevant to Joe Public. It will continue to be so even with this cash injection for the monies will merely be used to turn the place into upmarket apartments for those delighting in grouse and deer shooting. Meanwhile charities are rightly moaning that their predictions about charitable giving tumbling now that we give our pound coins to the lottery each week are turning out to be true. Small local lotteries run by town football clubs, even hospitals are about to go under. Even before the whole silly scheme got off the ground there were predictions that the lottery funds panel would merely direct cash in the interests of like-minded people to those who sat on it. Of the funds allocated this week nearly, apart from the two examples above, went to museums. And who visits museums? Not by and large the people who buy the tickets, nor the old ladies who might prefer some be spent on better facilities at the local hospital, nor the youngsters with rundown changing facilities at their local football pitch. Some 80 per cent of lottery players are in socio-economic groups C and D. A and B people presumably understand the odds of nearly 14 million to one are not good. SO I predict stormy times ahead for the National Lottery. It has taken GBP1.45 billion in cash so far - with a good percentage going to Camelot, the company that runs the whole affair. The Government, which borrows GBP750 million a week to finance its spending claims, 12 per cent. At present 28 per cent is marked down for 'good causes' but so far that has not meant one penny for the health charities, children's groups or others that are missing out so badly. Nobody is denying a need to secure Churchill's papers. Churchill's money-grubbing family even suggested they would sell them abroad unless the Government acted. But for the less than averagely wealthy person who likes a flutter on every Saturday's draw, the granting of nearly GBP13 million to an already well-off Tory MP stinks. One might have expected today's Winston Churchill to have donated the papers of his greater ancestor to the nation; but no. Some 20 million people play the lottery each week expecting that some of their cash will go to good causes. To paraphrase the Churchill who would have been more generous: 'Never has so much been paid by so many to so few.'