Camelot UK Lotteries Limited (‘Camelot’) today announced that National Lottery ticket sales for the first six months of its 2016/17 financial year (1 April to 24 September 2016) were £3,389 million.
During the period, Camelot generated direct returns for National Lottery Good Causes of £783 million1 – over £30 million every week – taking the total delivered to date to more than £36 billion. National Lottery funding has now been awarded to a landmark 500,000 individual projects across the UK – the equivalent of 160 life-changing lottery grants in every neighbourhood.
Although elite sport only receives 4% of all money raised for Good Causes, two of the most high-profile recipients of National Lottery funding during the period were Team GB and ParalympicsGB. The impact of this funding was clear to see, with virtually all of Britain’s medallists in Rio supported by The National Lottery. Great Britain and Northern Ireland also made history as the first-ever host nation to improve on its home medal haul at the following Games. To thank National Lottery players for their huge contribution in making this sporting success possible, Camelot teamed up with ITV to stage ‘I Am Team GB’. Nearly one million people took part, making it the UK’s biggest ever sports day, and research shows that over four million people say they now feel inspired to be more active as a result.
Over the half-year, Camelot awarded £1,928 million in prizes to players and created 183 new lottery millionaires – more than one a day – taking the total amount awarded to date to over £61 billion and the total number of millionaires created since The National Lottery’s launch to more than 4,400. Combined with the Lottery Duty it pays to the Government and the commission earned by its retail partners, Camelot returns 95% of all revenue back to society.
This half-year’s total sales and returns to Good Causes compare with record-breaking sales of £3,615 million and returns of £875 million respectively for the corresponding six months last year. There were some encouraging signs of improvement over the summer this year, and the longer-term trend also remains very healthy, with total annual National Lottery sales growth of almost 50% since the start of Camelot’s third licence in 2009.
Sales of draw-based games picked up towards the end of the first half of 2016/17 after a challenging start, particularly over the first quarter. After a record-breaking end to the last financial year following last October’s changes to Lotto, the game had a comparatively quieter six months but its performance was buoyed towards the end of period by the special draw Camelot held to celebrate Team GB’s outstanding achievements in Rio and the success of the ‘I Am Team GB’ campaign. Lotto’s performance was also boosted after Camelot lowered the maximum level that the jackpot can reach to give players more ‘must be won’ moments. Since doing so, the jackpot has reached this ‘cap’ twice and, because it can no longer roll and must be won, it has made the game more appealing and exciting for players.
As anticipated ahead of September’s planned innovations, EuroMillions had another soft six months across the participating countries due to the continued lack of long roll series and huge jackpots. However, the innovative changes introduced at the end of the half-year to offer bigger jackpots more often and at least double the number of guaranteed UK millionaires have reinvigorated the game, with early analysis showing a 60% sales uplift. On top of that, the game has already seen one massive jackpot of £153 million and, in less than two months, a further 44 guaranteed UK prizes of £1 million.
Camelot CEO Andy Duncan said: “Despite the challenges we’ve faced over the last six months, our performance over the half-year still represents one of our best since The National Lottery’s launch in 1994 – and returning over £2.7 billion to Good Causes and players in just six months is no small achievement.
“With the current climate of economic uncertainty and signs that consumers are being more cautious with their spending, we expect the next six months to be similarly challenging. We’re also seeing no let-up in the direct, often aggressive, competition we’re facing from the wider gambling sector – especially from bet-on-lottery firms purporting to offer the same products as The National Lottery – and from large ‘umbrella-style’ society lotteries. But, with some great plans lined up, there’s still all to play for in the second half of the year – and we’ll be doing everything we can to deliver even more for our players and for the millions of people for whom National Lottery funding is so vital.”
1 Figures do not include investment returns on National Lottery balances which are reported separately.