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Funds raised for good causes Q1 2020 - 21

Income from game sales by quarter and versus last year

Published: 4 August 2020

Reporting period: Quarter 1, 2020-21 (April - June) 

Since its launch in November 1994, the National Lottery has raised over £42billion for good causes that include sports (including Olympic athletes), arts and heritage, as well as health, education and the environment.

Funds are raised from the sale of National Lottery games and supplemented by items such as unclaimed prizes. The funds for good causes are held in the National Lottery Distribution Fund (NLDF).

The Commission ensures that payments from the Lottery operator to good causes (which are held in the National Lottery Distribution Fund) are accurate and on time.

Total funds raised for good causes between Q1 19/20 and Q1 2020-21[1]

The chart below shows the most recent quarter and the preceding four quarters for comparative purposes. For consistency, each week’s ending date must fall within the reporting quarter, therefore the number of weeks within the quarters may vary.

The total raised for good causes in Q1 (April to June) was £382.31M. This was -£56.81M (-12.9%) below the January to March quarter and -£5.85M (-1.5%) below Q1 in 19/20. The last five quarters have generated £2.17bn to good causes.

NLDF Q1 2021


Funds raised for good causes this quarter were less than the previous by around £57m (13%) but remain at a similar level to Q1 financial year 19/20. The decrease against Q4 can be attributed to the following:

  • This reporting quarter has been impacted by Covid-19 and subsequent ongoing pressures on the gambling industry. However, the impact on The National Lottery has been fairly modest with overall sales down by 2%.
  • Total unclaimed prizes added as returns to good causes is around 69% (£32m) less than the previous quarter. There was also a notable drop in returns to good causes from EuroMillions and Scratchcards this quarter againstthe last.
  • Funds raised from EuroMillions sales were £129m in Q4 and £96m in Q1, a significant decrease of 25%. This was partly fueled by fewer overall sales against the previous quarter.
  • Scratchcard sales, against the long-term average, were affected the most from the impacts of Covid-19 and as a result, funds raised were £10.2m (17%) less than the previous quarter.

[1] Amounts relate to total value of proceeds from game sales raised for good causes in approximate calendar quarters. Q1 of 20/21 comprises funds raised between the week ending 4 April to the week ending 27 June. They include all other income and adjustments from game sales, including unclaimed prizes.

Funds raised for good causes report Q1 2020-21

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