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The National Lottery Reach Record Sales, But Do The Numbers Add Up?

Camelot the current owners of the UK's national lottery have today reported record high sales throughout the first half of this year totalling £3.9 billion in ticket sales up 2.7% on last years figures. Here we will take a look at these figures in depth to show whether these record sales are a good or bad thing for the consumer, the chances of winning and what these funds are being spent on.

National Lottery Reach Record Sales

Lottery Numbers

Camelot claim to retain just 1% of the revenue generated from the UK's national lottery in profits with 95% of total revenue going back to the winners and society as a whole through charitable donations and infrastructure. With them being one of the most cost effective lotteries in Europe spending the additional 4% on operating costs and advertising. To date National Lottery players have helped raise over £43 billion for good causes with more than 635,000 individual awards made across the UK the equivalent of more than 225 lottery grants in every UK postcode district.


From total ticket sales of £8.3 billion last year

  • £1.8 billion was raised for national lottery projects

  • £4.8 billion was paid to players in total prizes

  • £1 billion went to government in lottery duty

  • £275 million was earned by retailers as commission

The National Lottery Logo

The chance of winning?

The odds are against you if you want to be the one lucky person to grab the jackpot prize with the national lottery openly providing the statistics on their website these are as follows;

  • Lotto jackpot: 1 in 45,057,474

  • EuroMillions jackpot: 1 in 139,838,160

  • Set For Life top prize: 1 in 15,339,390

  • Thunderball top prize: 1 in 8,060,598

The chances of winning a smaller prize are difficult to get an accurate sum of with these smaller prizes typically being used for additional tickets by the consumer Camelot are slightly less open around these figures. However based of our previous statistics given if £8.3 billion was spent on tickets and £4.6 billion given in prizes this would put the lotteries RTP as a whole at 55.42%. Most gamblers should be aware that typically slot machines are expected to have around a 95% RTP or above and with the national lotteries Return To Player being so low it appears that the draw of an infrequently won jackpot prize is the true appeal for players.

National Lottery Slogan

Camelot's Chief Executive, Nigel Railton was quoted as saying that the "National Lottery sales up across the board and very high levels of public participation we’ve once again proved that our strategy of offering great consumer choice in a safe and convenient way continues to deliver vital contributions to Good Causes across the UK" This good causes approach as opposed to gambling approach has seen the company pivot from their highly controversial pitch of the player having to be "In it to win it" to "your numbers make amazing things happen" with them heavily pushing their charitable causes, and the funding of the recent Olympic and the Paralympic games. The general public seem to be in full support of the national lottery with the past four years seeing continued growth for Camelot and we will let you come to your own conclusions around the pros and cons off The National Lottery especially regarding its very low RTP percentage.


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