News Camelot sets new National Lottery sales record

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Lottery winner Matthew Breach

National Lottery operator Camelot today announced that it is has achieved record ticket sales for the 2010/11 financial year. In the year to 31 March 2011, Camelot grew total National Lottery sales across all channels to an all-time high of £5,822.4m, an increase of £370.6m (6.8%) on the previous year.

At a time when sales at most lotteries worldwide are static or in decline, Camelot’s outstanding performance in breaking the previous sales record of £5,513.7m set in 1997/98 underlines the proven success of its strategy for long-term, responsible growth. This approach has now seen total National Lottery sales increase by 20.4% since the start of the second lottery licence in 2002 – and the number of players rise by over 5% in the last five years alone.

However, the company’s policy of encouraging many people to play but to each spend relatively little means that, despite being the seventh largest lottery in the world in terms of sales, the UK National Lottery is ranked just 60th in terms of per capita spend – clear evidence of Camelot’s ongoing commitment to being a responsible operator.

The further rise in sales in 2010/11 is excellent news for the Good Causes and National Lottery players – who, between them, shared a record-breaking £4,549.2m during the year. Camelot delivered £1,665.1m1 to the Good Causes last year – an increase of £116.7m (7.5%) on 2009/10’s returns of £1,548.4m – while returns to players, in the form of prize money, topped £2,884.0m. National Lottery players have now helped to raise over £26bn for the Good Causes, with more than 350,000 individual awards made across the UK, and over £38bn has been paid out in prizes, with more than 2,600 millionaires created in the process.

The boost in sales also represents great news for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Camelot has now raised over £600m towards London 2012 from sales of specially-designated games – and is on track to hit its target of £750m from the sale of such games.

By offering players an enhanced and regularly-refreshed range of games – and focusing on innovation to give them what they want, when they want – Camelot has again succeeded in growing sales across the board in 2010/11. As well as increasing sales of both draw-based and instant play games, the company has continued to boost performance across its retail and direct channels.

Buoyed by the launch of a new-look Thunderball game and the brand new Lotto Plus 5 game – as well as two special UK Millionaire Super Raffles, which built on the huge popularity of the EuroMillions UK Millionaire Raffle game – Camelot grew total sales of draw-based games from £4,121.6m in 2009/10 to £4,386.3m in 2010/11, a rise of £264.7m.

The company’s ongoing policy of regularly refreshing its portfolio of games to appeal to as many people as possible also succeeded in growing sales of instant play games. Helped by the launch of around 70 new and innovative Scratchcards and online Instant Win games, including the introduction of more 3D games and different play-styles, total sales rose by a further £105.9m in 2010/11 to £1,436.1m.

From small corner shops and convenience stores to petrol forecourts and supermarkets, retail remains the largest National Lottery sales channel – accounting for around 85% of all sales. Despite challenging high street conditions, Camelot’s comprehensive programme of training and support throughout the year for its 28,800 retail partners succeeded in growing in-store sales by a further 5% – from £4,761.8m in 2009/10 to £4,999.3m in 2010/11. As a result, National Lottery retailers have now earned over £4.0bn in sales commission since the start of the lottery in 1994.

Camelot achieved an equally strong sales performance across its direct channels, with interactive and subscription sales growing from £690.0m in 2009/10 to £823.1m in 2010/11. With over six million people registered to play, the company operates the biggest online lottery in the world2, with its website – – one of the top e-commerce sites in the UK by monthly visits. As well as continuing to refresh its portfolio of online Instant Win games, the company has launched the hugely popular, free National Lottery Official App for iPhone®3 – giving players an easy way to check the latest results on the move, as well as locate their nearest National Lottery outlets.

Dianne Thompson, Camelot Group CEO, said: “Setting a new sales record this year is a fantastic achievement. It’s the result of a great team effort at Camelot and a proven strategy for long-term, responsible growth that has seen sales rise steadily since the start of the second lottery licence.

“Our business is all about raising as much money as possible for the Good Causes and creating millions of winners – and this year’s figures clearly show that we’re doing just that. Most importantly, we’re continuing to do it in a socially responsible way by encouraging many people to play but to spend relatively small amounts.

“Our continued success in the face of a challenging economic climate and a worldwide trend of slowing lottery sales has reinforced our position as one of the world’s leading lottery operators – and ensured that the UK National Lottery remains one of the world’s most consistently successful operations of its kind.

“We are not complacent though – and have no intention of taking this success for granted. We want to build on this exceptional performance, and continue to raise even more money for the Good Causes and to create even more winners. By continuing to listen to what our players tell us they want, by putting consumer choice and convenience at the heart of everything we do, and by maintaining our focus on innovation, we are confident that The National Lottery will continue to go from strength to strength.”

1 Figures do not include investment returns on National Lottery balances which are reported separately.
2 Global Betting & Gaming Consultants Report 2009
3 Apple, the Apple logo and iPhone® are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

Notes to Editors:

  • Camelot UK Lotteries Limited is the licensed operator of The National Lottery and is committed to raising money for the Good Causes designated by Parliament. Camelot is not responsible for distributing or awarding these funds
  • To date, over £25 billion has been raised for the Good Causes by The National Lottery, and more than 350,000 individual awards have been made across the UK – benefiting both large and small projects spanning arts, sports, heritage, charities, health, education and the environment. The National Lottery has given away over £38 billion in prizes and created more than 2,600 millionaires or multi-millionaires since launch in 1994
  • Camelot runs the most cost-efficient lottery in Europe, with around 4% of total revenue spent on operating costs. In the period up to March 2012, around 28% of total National Lottery revenue is expected to go to the Good Causes. Over the course of the third Licence, over 50% of total National Lottery revenue is expected to be paid to winners in prizes, while 12% of total revenue is expected to be paid to the Government in Lottery Duty. Depending on performance, total profits across the course of the Licence will range from 0.3% to a maximum of 0.5% of total revenue
    Camelot is committed to the highest standards in player protection and social responsibility in both the retail and interactive environments. The National Lottery website and Play By Text services have been accredited by GamCare, the UK’s national centre for information, advice and practical help regarding the social impact of gambling – while Camelot’s approach to game design, test purchasing and retailer vigilance campaigns ensures player protection at retail
  • For further information on Camelot, The National Lottery and its games, please visit the following websites: and
  • Players of all National Lottery games must be aged 16 or over.