CAMELOT yesterday announced its second highest sales since the launch of the national lottery 16 years ago.
Sales hit £5.4bn in the year to 31 March – up £302.7m on the previous year.
Over the past five years there has been a 14.4 per cent sales rise despite the global downturn which has hit consumers in the pocket.
The sales hike means the “Good Causes” that benefit from lottery funding will receive a total £1.5bn – the biggest payout for a decade.
A total of £24bn has been raised since the lottery started.
The lottery is the sixth biggest in the world and Camelot has won consecutive licences to run the operation.
Sales through the internet and mobile phones has helped takings to surge, the company said.
Camelot chief executive Dianne Thompson said: “Our outstanding sales performance and returns to good causes have consolidated our position as one of the world’s leading lottery operators.”
Camelot increased total sales of draw-based games – Lotto, EuroMillions, Thunderball, Lotto HotPicks, Dream Number and Daily Play – from £3.9bn in 2008/9 to £4.1bn, a rise of £193.6m.
The winner of the UK’s biggest lottery jackpot came forward to claim their £84.4m prize last month.
In 1994 the Lottery took £4.5bn in sales, with more than 130 new millionaires being created.
The Lottery is also pumping £2.2bn into the public funding package for the 2012 Olympic Games.
In the past Camelot has been criticised over some of the “Good Causes” being given funds.
Last year Camelot posted a 3.6 per cent increase in annual sales to £5.1bn. That also represented one of its best performances.
SITTING PRETTY WITH LOTTERY MILLIONS
14.4% increase in sales over the last five years
£5.4bn total National Lottery sales in the year to 31 March
£1.5bn amount given this year to good causes
5.9% the percentage increase in sales on the previous year
£56m the amount lottery winner Nigel Page banked
£24bn the total amount given to good causes since the Lottery began