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National Lottery Reaches £40 Billion Mark For Good Causes

Last Updated: Tuesday 4th June 2019, 16:05

The National Lottery has announced its latest sales figures, revealing that players have now raised a total of £40 billion for good causes. Camelot chief executive Nigel Railton has declared himself delighted that the company’s hard work over the past year is paying off and rewarding both lottery fans and wider society.

Sales On The Rise

National Lottery ticket sales increased £255 million over the year ending 31st March 2019, generating £7.2 billion in revenue. A new record was set for digital sales, worth £1.83 billion, but it is retail that remains the largest sales channel, with nearly 75 percent of the total coming through terminals in stores.

EuroMillions and Lotto sales were actually ‘slightly down’ over the year, according to National Lottery operator Camelot, as a result of there being fewer draws which offered more than £100 million than the previous 12 months. However, Thunderball and EuroMillions HotPicks performed well, while Scratchcards and online Instant Win games reached a record £3.1 billion.

Sales of draw-based games are also expected to pick up over the next 12 months following Set For Life’s launch in March. Set For Life is an annuity lottery which gives you the chance to win £10,000 every month for 30 years, with draws taking place every Monday and Thursday.

Railton said: “Sales across most of the business are up – with our ongoing investment and innovation in retail and digital continuing to yield positive results. In particular, we’ve spent much of the last 12 to 18 months getting our draw-based games back in good health – with a more balanced portfolio that now offers something for everyone.”

From the money raised by ticket sales, 50 percent is used for the payment of prizes, while 12 percent goes to Government Lottery Duty, retailers receive five percent in commission and 4.5 percent covers the costs of operating the games. Only 0.5 percent is kept as profit by the lottery operator and the remaining 28 percent helps good causes.

‘Incredible Good Causes Achievement’

The total returns to good causes for the year ending in March was £1.6 billion, taking the overall figure since the National Lottery launched in 1994 beyond £40 billion. The Good Causes Fund is split into four broad categories - with the biggest portion, 40 percent, going to health, education, environment and charitable causes.

The other three areas - sports, arts and heritage - all receive 20 percent of the money given to good causes. Helping the economy and generating revenue for worthy projects were the primary reasons why the National Lottery was established 25 years ago, and its enduring success has been hailed as an ‘incredible achievement’ by Gambling Commission chief executive Neil McArthur.

He said: “Ensuring that returns to good causes are maximised is a priority for us as regulator. This will remain a priority as we look to the future and at how technology and innovation can ensure that the success of the National Lottery continues in the years ahead.”

Challenges Ahead

The National Lottery had to direct £39 million of its good cause money last year to ‘necessary marketing expenditure’, in agreement with the Gambling Commission. The size of its sales force was doubled, products were trialled at discount stores such as Aldi, and National Lottery games were also made available at self-checkouts at over 550 Asda stores.

Railton acknowledges that there are challenges ahead but is confident that the National Lottery will continue to ‘make a difference to the lives of people and communities throughout the UK’. He said: “While we’ll continue to face economic uncertainty and increasing competition from the gambling and wider lotteries sectors – and while there is still a huge amount of work to do – I’m delighted that the foundations we’ve put in place and the initiatives we’ve already implemented are paying off.”

If you play any National Lottery game, whether it is a big event such as Friday’s EuroMillions Superdraw or a Scratchcard, you are doing your bit for good causes whilst also giving yourself a chance to win.

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