Picture: David and Donna Stickley from Slough who became The National Lottery’s 5,000th millionaire when they won a £21 million Lotto jackpot in May 2018
- Total National Lottery sales up by 5.4% – Returns to Good Causes up by 6.2%
- Prize money awarded up by 6% – Retailer commission up by 5.3%
- 95% of all revenue returned to winners and society
Camelot UK Lotteries Limited (‘Camelot’) today announced that total National Lottery ticket sales for the first six months of its 2018/19 financial year (1 April to 29 September 2018) were £3,456.3 million – an increase of £175.9 million on the first half of 2017/18. Camelot’s success in building on last year’s sales growth further underlines the value of the work it has been carrying out as a result of the wide-ranging strategic review it conducted in 2017.
Camelot’s performance over the half-year saw it generate £793.2 million (excluding investment returns) for Good Causes, £46.5 million more than in the first half of 2017/18. This equates to around £30 million every week and takes the total raised for Good Causes to date to over £39 billion. National Lottery funding has now been awarded to more than 535,000 individual projects – the equivalent of around 190 lottery grants in every UK postcode district – including more than 2,200 in communities throughout the UK to mark the centenary of the First World War.
Over the same period, Camelot awarded £1,973.1 million in prizes to players, £111.3 million more than in the first half of 2017/18, and created 196 new millionaires. The National Lottery has now awarded over £69 billion in prize money and created more than 5,100 millionaires or multi-millionaires since its launch – including Donna and David Stickley from Slough who became The National Lottery’s 5,000th millionaire after scooping the entire Lotto jackpot of £21 million in May this year. 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. Sales of draw-based games increased by £39.9 million to £1,960.7 million, boosted by the introduction earlier this year of a Tuesday draw for Thunderball and the launch of a brand new EuroMillions HotPicks game, while sales across The National Lottery’s range of Scratchcards and online Instant Win Games increased by £136.0 million to £1,495.6 million following improvements in product design, range, merchandising and availability.
Over the same period, sales across The National Lottery’s digital channels grew to a record £831.4 million, an increase of £77.4 million, driven by a better game range and mix, improved merchandising and the launch late last year of a full version of the Android app. Mobile sales increased by £99.8 million to an all-time high of £431.6 million, with sales through smartphones and tablets now accounting for over 50% of all digital sales.
Accounting for 75% of all sales, retail remains the largest National Lottery sales channel. Boosted by a £20 million investment in a range of initiatives to improve retailer engagement and support – including a significant increase in the number of face-to-face visits made to outlets – retail sales over the half-year grew by £98.5 million to £2,624.9 million – with Camelot’s retail partners earning £147.2 million in commission, £7.4 million than in the first half of 2017/18.
Announcing the results, Camelot CEO Nigel Railton said: “Thanks to the work we’ve been carrying out following our comprehensive review of the business, we’ve made a very positive start to the financial year across the board. Delivering over £2.8 billion to Good Cause projects, players and retailers in just six months is a fantastic achievement – and underlines the massive difference that The National Lottery continues to make to the lives of people and communities throughout the UK.
“Everyone at Camelot is committed to ensuring that this success story continues, so we’ll be looking to build on this momentum by continuing to focus on those areas that we identified in the review. We’ll continue to make improvements across our retail and digital channels, and build on the good headway we’ve made to date in making The National Lottery brand more relevant and visible. On top of that, we’ve got some great plans for the second half of the year to ensure that we’re offering a more balanced and appealing range of games that offers something for everyone – starting with exciting changes to Lotto next week to give our players a better winning experience.
“While there is much work still to do – and while we’ll continue to face challenges that are beyond our control, such as economic uncertainty and unrelenting competition from both the gambling sector and industrial-scale society lotteries that operate on a national basis – I’m very encouraged by the further progress we’ve made over the first half of this year. I’m confident that the strong foundations we’ve put in place and the exciting plans we have lined up will help us deliver even more for our players and the millions of people for whom National Lottery funding is so crucial.”