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Funds raised for good causes Q1 2019 - 20

Income from game sales by quarter and versus last year

Published: 21 August 2019

Reporting period: Quarter 1, 2019-20 (April-June) 

Since its launch in November 1994, the National Lottery has raised over £40 billion for good causes that include sports (including Olympic athletes and the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games), arts and heritage, as well as communities, health, education and the environment.

Funds are raised from the sale of National Lottery games and supplemented by unclaimed prizes and interest on balances of funds held. The funds for good causes are held in the National Lottery Distribution Fund (NLDF). The Commission ensures that payments from the Lottery operator to the good causes are accurate and on time.

Total funds raised for good causes between Quarter 1 2018-19 and Quarter 1 2019-20[1]

The chart below shows the most recent quarter and the preceding four quarters for comparative purposes. For reporting purposes the number of weeks within the quarters vary according to the fall of financial year cut-off dates.

The total raised for the NLDF in Quarter 1 (April to June) was £388.2m. This was £54.5m (12.3%) below the January to March quarter (Q4) of 2018-19 and £26.1m (7.2%) above Quarter 1 in 2018-19:

returns to good causes


The total for the first quarter of the 2019-20 financial year was below that recorded in the fourth quarter of the 2018-19 financial year but above the amount recorded for Quarter 1 of 2018-19.

Performance in the first quarter of 2019-20 versus Quarter 4 of the previous year was as a result of the following:

  • Lower sales and proceeds from Lotto and EuroMillions, offset in part by stronger sales of instant win games and the inclusion of a full quarter’s sales and returns from the new Set for Life game
  • Income from unclaimed prizes in Quarter 1 was £9.8m; considerably lower than Quarter 4’s  £37.0m, which included £25.8m of scratchcard unclaimed prizes
  • Fewer trading days in the quarter (there were two additional days in Quarter 4)
  • Marketing investment drawdown from the NLDF was below Quarter 4.

Performance was better than in Quarter 1 of 2018-19 due to: 

  • An extra week’s trading is included this year (13 weeks versus 12 in Quarter 1 of 2018-19)
  • Stronger comparative sales and contributions from Lotto and EuroMillions, despite the latter featuring a Friday 13th ‘mega raffle’ event in the same quarter last year (none this year)
  • Higher sales and proceeds from instant win games
  • Marketing investment drawn down from the NLDF was lower than in Quarter 1 last year. 

[1]  These amounts relate to the total value of proceeds from game sales raised for the NLDF in approximate calendar quarters. Quarter 1 of 2019-20 includes funds raised from sales made between 1 April and 29 June 2019. They include all other income and adjustments from game sales, including unclaimed prizes.

Funds raised for good causes report Q1 2019-20

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