The National Lottery operator, Camelot, has enjoyed a bumper year, despite the poor state of the economy. It has increased total National Lottery sales in the year to 31 March to an all-time high of £6.97bn, an increase of 6.9 per cent on the previous year.
Camelot sales grew across the board in 2012/13, with sales of draw-based games and instant play up by a combined £452m.
Andy Duncan, managing director, of Camelot UK Lotteries, said: "With almost £2bn delivered for the good causes, over £3.6bn paid out in prizes and 365 new millionaires – that's one every single day – the National Lottery broke all records in 2012/13. Together with the stunning success of London 2012, which was only made possible because of the unique contribution of National Lottery players, we've had an extraordinary year."
Accounting for 83 per cent of all sales, shops remain the largest channel for National Lottery sales. After completing a multimillion-pound investment to expand its retail network by a further 8,000 stores as part of its initiative to deliver some £1.7bn in additional lottery funding to society by 2023, Camelot now works with over 36,700 retailers across the UK.
Since 1994, the year the National Lottery started, retailers have earned over £4.7bn in total sales commission. Overall, Camelot claims that it has now raised about £30bn for good causes during the life of the National Lottery.
However, the cost of a National Lottery ticket is set to double in September from £1 to £2. There has been no price rise in its history, but a doubling of costs could well lead to a drop-off in sales.
At the time the price rise was announced earlier this month, Camelot said that it was bringing the increase in because its research suggested that players wanted to see bigger jackpot prizes.
The company also plans to create a new Lotto raffle with at least 50 winners getting a guaranteed £20,000 in each Lotto draw. However, prizes for matching five number and bonus balls will fall. Overall, the proportion of the ticket price paid out in winnings will remain at around 50 per cent.
The Chancellor may well be the big winner from the price increase as it will swell Treasury coffers to the tune of £1bn a year, according to the analysts GBGC.