National Lottery sales hit new high


National Lottery sales hit an all-time high of £6.5 billion over the last year with a record return to good causes, operator Camelot has announced.

Sales of National Lottery products, such as tickets and scratchcards, were up 12.1% on the previous year, boosted by two exceptionally large EuroMillions rollover jackpots of more than £161 million and £101 million in July and October.

Results for 2011/12 show that Camelot gave £1.8 billion, £160 million more than in 2011/12, to good causes.

It has also reached its target of raising £750 million for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, which is part of a National Lottery contribution of £2.2 billion to the Games.

Lottery sales have grown by 35% since 2002.

A record 288 National Lottery millionaires were created during the year, among them Colin and Chris Weir who banked the £161 million EuroMillions jackpot in July to become Europe's biggest lottery winners.

Camelot managing director Andy Duncan said: "I'm delighted to announce that we've hit our £750 million funding target for London 2012 ahead of schedule.

"It's part of an overall National Lottery contribution of up to £2.2 billion towards the Games, making it the biggest-ever lottery-funded project to date and one that will leave a lasting sporting legacy for the entire UK.

"But it's only been made possible by the outstanding contribution of National Lottery players. They should feel immensely proud that none of it would have happened without them.

"Our business is all about raising as much money as possible for the good causes and creating millions of winners and this year's record-breaking figures show we've done exactly that.

"The National Lottery is truly life-changing, for the hundreds of thousands of beneficiaries of lottery funding and for all of the big winners we create each and every week.

"But this success hasn't happened overnight. It's the result of a great team effort and a proven strategy for long-term, responsible growth that has seen sales and player numbers grow steadily over the last 10 years.

"However, we never take success for granted and are determined to build on this year's achievements to ensure that The National Lottery continues to change lives for the better for people and communities the length and breadth of the UK."