Belfast Telegraph

Camelot reports record half-yearly National Lottery sales

Both National Lottery ticket sales and returns to good causes have risen, but Camelot would not discuss profit.

Prizes to players increased by 13.4% to a total of £2.2 billion, Camelot said (Yui Mok/PA)
Prizes to players increased by 13.4% to a total of £2.2 billion, Camelot said (Yui Mok/PA)

By Josie Clarke, PA Consumer Correspondent

National Lottery operator Camelot has reported record half-year results, boosted by sales for the £170 million EuroMillions prize won by a single UK player last month.

Both ticket sales and returns to good causes have risen, according to half-yearly results for the National Lottery, but Camelot would not discuss profits in the same time period.

The figures show that, in the first six months of the 2019/20 financial year – between April 1 and September 29 – ticket sales rose by 13.5% to £3.9 billion while returns to good causes increased by 10.5% to £876.8 million, £83.6 million more than the same period last year.

Prizes to players increased by 13.4% – a total of £2.2 billion, and £265.3 million more than last year, Camelot said.

A spokeswoman for Camelot said: “Although we don’t publish profit at the half-year, our profit after tax is less than 1% of total revenue, with 95% of sales going to winners and society.”

Camelot chief executive 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.”

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, Camelot said it would have achieved record results even without the exceptional EuroMillions series.

Mr Railton said the National Lottery’s newest game Set For Life had also had “a strong start” and had so far created nine winners of its top prize of £10,000 a month for 30 years since its launch in March.

The company also increased sales of its scratchcards and online instant win games over the period by £164.7 million to £1.6 billion.

Mobile sales grew by £317.4 million to an all-time high of £749 million, with sales through smartphones and tablets now accounting for nearly 65% of all digital sales.

Sales through smartphones and tablets have grown 73% year-on-year.

Retail still accounts for more than 70% of all sales, which grew by £132.2 million to £2.7 billion, despite challenging high street conditions.