Digital sales by UK National Lottery provider Camelot Group hit the £ 1b mark in the first half of their fiscal year, the first time the 10-figure threshold has been broken in the company’s history.
Camelot released its financial report card on Thursday for the six-month period ending September 28, where overall sales hit a record £ 3.92b, a 13.4 percent increase over the same period last year. Camelot’s compulsory contributions to good causes rose to £ 876.8 m in fiscal H1 by £ 83.6 m year-on-year.
Draw-based ticket products saw sales rise to £2.26b almost 17% year-on-year, while National Lottery Scratchcards and online Instant Win Games rose 11% to £ 1.66b.
Camelot acknowledged the “significant” boost given by the EuroMillions prize hitting a record £ 170 million before being won by a UK resident in October, but the company insists that its draw-based sales would have hit a record even without this jackpot frenzy.
Overall digital sales amounted to a record £ 1,164b, up 40% year-on-year, leading Camelot to praise tweaks on its mobile apps and the upgraded website of the National Lottery. The digital boom was driven by a rise in smartphone purchases, which rose to a record £ 749 m by almost three-quarters, accounting for almost 65% of digital sales.
Retail remains the dominant source of revenue, but its annual growth was 5%. Camelot continues to explore ways to boost retail sales, including extending a trial of National Lottery products in Aldi stores, providing sales at 550 Asda stores at self-checkouts, and launching a new trial at 800 UK locations in the Iceland supermarket chain.
This month marks the 25th anniversary of the birth of the National Lottery, sparking in the UK media all kinds of retrospectives. These ranged from profiles of lotto louts that frittered away £ 10 m and ended up skinting to tuttuting from investment analysts who pointed out that poor people could have made financial gains if they had instead used their weekly lottery outlay to buy stocks.
Another anniversary piece featured Jamie-Lee O’Donnell, who plays troublemaker Michelle on UK sitcom Derry Girls, a character often described as a ‘walking Id’ because of her (profane) predilection for speaking her mind and trying to shake everything in sight.
O’Donnell is currently starring in a commercial in which she claims to have won the National Lottery and purchased the last surviving White Star vessel, the SS Nomadic. The Nomadic is now lying in Hamilton Docks in Belfast, thanks in part to funds from £ 3.25 m in National Lottery Good Causes.