Camelot UK Lotteries Limited (‘Camelot’) today announced record National Lottery sales of £4,063.9 million for the first six months of the 2022/23 financial year (1 April to 24 September 2022), breaking the £4 billion mark for the first time in the company’s 28-year operation of The National Lottery and outperforming last year’s total by £102.5 million (+2.6%).
The record performance resulted in the best-ever first-half returns to Good Causes of £956.5 million – up £72 million (+8.1%) on last year – taking the total generated for Good Causes since The National Lottery launched in 1994 under Camelot to £47 billion.
The record half-year – driven by record digital sales – maintains the impressive growth that Camelot has delivered over the last five years as a result of the company offering great consumer choice in a safe and convenient way. Encouraging millions of people to “play a little” has also ensured that The National Lottery remains resilient despite the more challenging economic climate. In total, more than 32 million people played National Lottery games over the period, with average weekly spend across all games and channels broadly in line with last year.
Camelot Chairman, Sir Hugh Robertson, welcomed the results: “I am delighted that these record results show that The National Lottery is returning more to Good Causes than ever before. In this hugely testing economic period, I am proud that my team’s remarkable performance builds on previous years of record ticket sales and returns to Good Causes – and extends our track record of delivering for people across the UK. With just over a year to run until the start of the next licence period, I am confident that The National Lottery has never been in better shape.”
In total, the National Lottery awarded £2,303.1 million in prize money to players over the first six months of the year – up £28.6 million – and created 169 new millionaires. These included the UK’s three biggest-ever winners, all of whom won on EuroMillions: an anonymous ticket-holder who scooped the record-breaking £195 million jackpot in July; Joe and Jess Thwaite who landed £184 million in May; and another anonymous ticket-holder who won £171 million in September.
Announcing the results, Camelot CEO Nigel Railton said: “Thanks to the commitment and professionalism of everyone at Camelot – and all of our hard work over the last few years – this record half-year performance confirms that we have a very healthy and successful National Lottery that continues to benefit the whole of the UK. These fantastic results also demonstrate our ability to adapt quickly and decisively to fast-changing and challenging economic conditions, while maintaining our longstanding reputation for selling tickets in a socially responsible way – attributes that have helped to keep The National Lottery in excellent health at such an important time for the UK.”
Draw-based games growth driven by huge EuroMillions rollovers
A key factor behind the record sales success over the half-year was a strong performance across draw-based games which were up £166.7 million (+7.5%) to £2,394.8 million. EuroMillions performed particularly strongly as Camelot capitalised on a series of huge rollover draws over the spring and summer to drive player excitement and sales – for example, over 15,000 players a minute signed into the National Lottery app and website ahead of the massive £184 million jackpot draw in May.
Elsewhere, Lotto performed well despite seeing fewer sales-driving ‘Must Be Won’ draws over the period and lived up to its millionaire-maker status by creating 71 new millionaires. Sales of National Lottery Scratchcards and online Instant Win Games were £1,669.1 million over the period – £64.2 million lower (-3.7%) year-on-year – mainly due to reduced sales of in-store Scratchcards, as a result of lower footfall and less frequent shopping trips.
Record digital performance leads sales growth
Camelot’s standing as operator of the largest digital lottery in the world by revenue was reinforced over the half-year, with online sales growing to a record £1,835.9 million – up by £212.0 million (+13%). Within this, mobile sales grew by £218.5 million (+19%) to an all-time high of £1,368.5 million – reflecting the wider, ever-increasing shift to mobile shopping. A key driver behind this digital growth was the company’s success in making the most of the opportunities presented by the huge EuroMillions roll series to add more than 1.1 million new online player registrations to its now 10.7 million-strong digital player base.
Supporting retailers as shopping habits evolve
Camelot continued to invest in and support National Lottery retailers over the period to achieve in-store sales of £2,228.0 million. The decrease of £109.5 million (-4.7%) on last year reflects the ongoing difficult conditions in retail, including a drop in footfall in some sectors and a preference for infrequent, bigger shops to seek better value deals over more frequent, smaller shopping trips. Despite this, retail remains the largest National Lottery sales channel and Camelot remains committed to doing everything it can to help its in-store partners, particularly independent outlets which make up the majority of its 44,500-strong retail footprint – including continuing its highly successful National Lottery standards programme which awarded over £268,000 in cash rewards to shopkeepers over the first half of the year.
Another packed six months of placing The National Lottery at the heart of national life
Camelot’s ongoing work to drive relevance, positivity and participation through a strong and healthy brand was also prominent throughout the period, as it continued to showcase The National Lottery’s transformational role in national life through a number of major initiatives. In May, it hosted The National Lottery’s Big Jubilee Street Party at Manchester’s AO Arena to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Billed as the UK’s biggest street party, it featured a star-studded entertainment line-up and was broadcast on ITV over the June bank holiday weekend. It also recognised the more than £22 million of National Lottery funding that went to communities across the UK to commemorate Her Majesty’s 70-year reign.
This was followed by a fantastic summer of sport that celebrated The National Lottery’s huge contribution to major sporting events, including the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and UEFA Women’s EURO 2022. As part of this, Camelot devised and staged a special one-off gig for National Lottery players, which saw the Lightning Seeds and David Baddiel – along with singer-songwriter Chelcee Grimes and a host of former Lionesses – perform a special live rendition of ‘Three Lions’. And hitting TV screens during the two huge sporting competitions was a brand new National Lottery advertising campaign entitled ‘The Chase’ – which featured England football player Ellen White and Paralympian Hannah Cockroft.
All of this activity ensures that The National Lottery remains front of mind at key national moments and continues to strengthen the connection between playing National Lottery games and the difference that makes to Good Causes, while helping to drive sales. Underlining this point, June’s special Jubilee ‘Must Be Won’ Lotto draw saw a massive 70% sales uplift compared with a Saturday base draw and, as a result, delivered even more money for Good Causes.
Looking ahead, The National Lottery is once again inviting the whole nation to come together and imagine the joy of winning big this festive season – with a special seasonal ad campaign, directed by Oscar-winner Tom Hooper, about two strangers who meet on a train and become lucky in love and the lottery. As part of the campaign, The National Lottery will also be launching a unique experience for players – with more details to follow in the coming weeks. And it doesn’t stop there, it is also hosting The National Lottery’s Big Bash – a spectacular music and entertainment show at the OVO Arena Wembley for National Lottery players, which will air on ITV and ITVX over the festive period.
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.
- Allwyn has agreed to acquire Camelot UK Lotteries Limited. Upon completion of the acquisition from Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, Camelot will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Allwyn. The acquisition is anticipated to close in Q1 2023 subject to regulatory approvals.
- Under Camelot’s operation, The National Lottery generates over £30 million each week for National Lottery-funded projects. In total, £47 billion has now been raised and more than 670,000 individual grants have been made across the UK – the equivalent of around 240 lottery grants in every UK postcode district.
- As well as contributing to world-class arts, sports and heritage projects of which the whole nation can be proud, The National Lottery continues 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.
- The total amount generated for Good Causes over the first half of 2022/23, including unclaimed prizes and other contributions, was £956.5 million. This figure excludes investment returns on National Lottery Distribution Fund (NLDF) balances and is before the deduction of any NLDF investment amounts. Of the total amount generated for Good Causes over the period, £37.3 million was retained and deployed by Camelot for necessary marketing expenditure for the core draw-based games – Lotto, EuroMillions and Set For Life – and The National Lottery brand under investment proposals approved by the Gambling Commission under Condition 23 of the National Lottery Section 5 Licence.
- The National Lottery has so far awarded over £88 billion in prizes and created more than 6,600 millionaires or multi-millionaires since its launch in 1994.
- To date, Camelot’s retail partners have earned over £7.5 billion in total sales commission.
- Since 1994, The National Lottery has paid £20 billion to the Treasury in Lottery Duty.
- Camelot runs one of the most cost-efficient major lotteries in Europe, with around 4% of total revenue spent on operating costs and only around 1% retained in profit after tax.
- Around 60% of UK adults currently play National Lottery games, with the demographics of play closely mirroring the demographics of the UK population as a whole.
- The National Lottery is ranked just 62nd in the world in terms of per capita spend, despite being the fifth largest lottery in the world by sales – underlining the ongoing effectiveness of Camelot’s strategy to encourage lots of people to play but to only spend relatively small amounts (Source: La Fleur’s 2022 World Lottery Almanac).
- With over 10.7 million active registered players, national-lottery.co.uk is the largest digital lottery in the world by revenue and one of the leading e-commerce sites in the UK.
- For further information on Camelot, The National Lottery and its games, please visit: www.camelotgroup.co.uk and www.national-lottery.co.uk.
- Players of all National Lottery games must be aged 18 or over.