Strategic review set the course for best-ever first six months
– Total National Lottery sales up by 13.5% – Returns to Good Causes up by 10.5% –
– Digital sales up by 40.0% – Prize money awarded up by 13.4% –
– Retail sales up by 5.0% – Retailer commission up by 7.6% –
– 95% of all revenue returned to winners and society –
Camelot UK Lotteries Limited (‘Camelot’) today announced that, following two years of successive growth, it has further grown total National Lottery ticket sales for the first six months of its 2019/20 financial year (1 April to 28 September 2019) to a record £3,921.3 million – an increase of £465.0 million on the first half of 2018/19. Camelot’s impressive performance over the period shows that, 25 years on from tickets first going on sale (14 November 1994), The National Lottery is in its best-ever shape – with the work the company has carried out following its 2017 strategic review continuing to deliver for National Lottery players and Good Causes.
Announcing the results, Camelot CEO Nigel Railton said: “It’s 25 years to the day since we started selling tickets for that first Lotto draw, and our record half-year performance clearly shows that The National Lottery is in its best-ever shape. Not only are sales up across the board, but we’ve also delivered over £3.2 billion to Good Cause projects, players and retailers in just six months – underlining the incredible difference that, over two decades on, The National Lottery continues to make to the lives of people and communities throughout the UK.
“Our recent commercial successes – paired with the amazing difference that The National Lottery is continuing to make to communities across the UK, and the great co-ordinated programme of activity we’ve created with the wider National Lottery family for the 25th birthday – show what we can collectively achieve. They also give us a fantastic platform on which to build as we ramp up to next year and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. As we celebrate this incredible birthday milestone, I really do feel that The National Lottery is 25 years young and ready to support the next generation of arts, heritage, sport and communities projects – funding so many activities at which the UK is truly world-class. What’s more, as CEO of Camelot, I can tell you that the team here that put in place the strategic review is only two years into a long-term plan – so we feel like we’re just getting started.”
Camelot’s success over the half-year saw it generate £876.8 million (excluding investment returns) for Good Causes, £83.6 million more than in the first half of 2018/19. This equates to over £30 million every week and takes the total raised for Good Causes since 1994 to over £40 billion – 60% more than the most optimistic Government forecast at the time of The National Lottery’s launch.
National Lottery funding has now been awarded to more than 565,000 individual projects – an average of 200 lottery grants in every UK postcode. As well as contributing to truly world-class arts, sports and heritage projects of which the whole nation can be proud, The National Lottery is continuing to make a massive difference at a local level. With 70% of grants being for £10,000 or less, it is giving small, grassroots community projects a real boost at a time when other sources of funding are being, or face being, cut.
Over the same period, Camelot awarded £2,238.4 million in prizes to players, £265.3 million more than last year, and created 147 new millionaires. The National Lottery has now awarded over £73 billion in prize money and created more than 5,500 millionaires or multi-millionaires since its launch. Combined with the Lottery Duty it pays to the Government and the commission earned by its retail partners, Camelot continues to return around 95% of all revenue to winners and society – one of the highest percentages of lottery revenue given back in the world.
Camelot succeeded in growing sales across the board during the half-year – an achievement underpinned by its longstanding commitment to selling tickets in a socially-responsible way, with the company continuing to make its player protection activities best-in-class to ensure people can continue to play National Lottery games in a healthy, safe and enjoyable way.
Sales of draw-based games increased by £300.3 million to £2,261.0 million, driven by improvements the company has made to offer a more balanced and appealing range of games that offers something for everyone. In particular, sales received a significant boost from the mega-jackpot EuroMillions game, which eventually rolled to a record £170 million before being won by a single UK ticket-holder in October. However, even without the exceptional EuroMillions roll series, it would have been a first-half sales record – clear evidence that the vital work that the company has been carrying out following its strategic review is paying off.
The National Lottery’s newest game, Set For Life, also had a strong start and has so far created nine winners of its top prize of £10,000 a month for 30 years since its launch in March. In addition, sales of the core millionaire-maker Lotto game have increased following Camelot’s introduction of new bigger, fixed cash prizes – including £1 million for matching five main numbers and the Bonus Ball – and jackpot ‘rolldowns’ where all cash prizes are boosted in ‘Must Be Won’ draws when the jackpot is not won.
The company also grew sales of National Lottery Scratchcards and online Instant Win Games over the period by £164.7 million to £1,660.3 million following improvements it introduced to give people greater choice with a wider range of differently-priced products with varying themes – including a special 25th birthday game which offers the best chance of winning £25 on a National Lottery Scratchcard, as well as Friends and Love Island-themed games.
Camelot's continued digital innovation over the period led to record online sales of £1,164.1 million – an increase of £332.7 million – breaking the £1 billion mark for the first time for the half-year. As part of this, the company grew mobile sales by £317.4 million to an all-time high of £749.0 million, with sales through smartphones and tablets now accounting for nearly 65% of all digital sales. Camelot’s ongoing enhancements to The National Lottery’s iPhone and Android mobile apps also drove record sales through them, while a recently-launched brand new look and feel for The National Lottery website aims to be more user-friendly and easier to navigate.
Accounting for over 70% of all sales, retail remains the largest National Lottery sales channel. Over the period, Camelot grew in-store sales by £132.2 million to £2,757.2 million, underlining the effectiveness of the work it has been carrying out to help its retail partners to continue making the most of having The National Lottery in their stores despite the ongoing challenging high street conditions. As a result, National Lottery retailers earned £158.3 million in commission over the half year, £11.1 million more than in the first half of 2018/19. The company has also been making steady progress on implementing initiatives that reflect the constantly-changing retail landscape. In addition to extending the trial of the sale of National Lottery products in a number of Aldi stores and making National Lottery games available at self-checkouts in 550 Asda stores nationwide, it has recently launched a trial in Iceland supermarkets.
Railton continued: “We’re continuing to make excellent progress on reinvigorating The National Lottery brand to make it more relevant and visible by more effectively communicating the uniqueness of The National Lottery and by working closely with the wider National Lottery family on successful initiatives such as #ThanksToYou and National Lottery Cinema Day, which recognise the all-important contribution of players to a huge range of projects across the UK. More recently, we’ve all worked together to run some incredible 25th birthday activities across the UK – featuring famous faces and well-known National Lottery-funded landmarks – to celebrate everything that’s been made possible thanks to National Lottery players over the last 25 years.”
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For further information, please contact:
Camelot Press Office: 020 7632 5711
Notes to Editors:• Camelot UK Lotteries Limited is the licensed operator of The National Lottery® and is committed to raising money for National Lottery Good Causes designated by Parliament. Camelot is not responsible for distributing or awarding these funds.