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Funds raised for good causes Q3 2019 - 20

Income from game sales by quarter and versus last year

Published: 18 February 2020

Reporting period: Quarter 3, 2019-20 (October - December) 

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 health and 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 the original good causes are held in the National Lottery Distribution Fund (NLDF). The commission ensure that payments from the Lottery operator to the good causes are accurate and on time.

Total funds raised for good causes between Quarter 3 2018-19 and Quarter 3 2019-20[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 the NLDF in Quarter 3 (October to December) was £500.1m. This was £39.2m (8.5%) above the July to Sep quarter and £109.9m (28.2%) above Quarter 3 in 2018-19.

RTGC Q3 2019-20


The total for the third quarter of the current financial year was higher than the previous quarter and the strongest it has been for a couple of years, aided by the following:

  • Overall, much stronger EuroMillions sales, mostly down to the record rollover streak in late September through to the middle part of October.
  • Circa £40m of unclaimed prizes were added as returns to good causes – this explains the £40m difference between this quarter and the last as overall sales have otherwise been largely consistent.

Overall returns were significantly higher than the amount recorded in Quarter 3 last year.

  • Set For Life has added an average of £23m each quarter to good causes since its inauguration last March and sales continue to strengthen as its popularity continues to rise.
  • Interactive Instant Win Games (IIWG) sales also continue to rise quarter on quarter, compared with the same period (Q3 2018/19) last year, around 32% more has been returned to good causes.
  • Total Lotto sales were higher this period (+6%) than Q3 2018-19 and returns to good causes (+14%), likely down to higher jackpots and consequently more fifth rollovers and ‘must be won’ draws, as well as the 25th anniversary super draw.


[1] These amounts relate to the total value of proceeds from game sales raised for the NLDF in approximate calendar quarters. Quarter 3 of 2019-20 comprises funds raised between the week ending 5th October to the week ending 28th December.  They include all other income and adjustments from game sales, including unclaimed prizes.      

Funds raised for good causes report Q3 2019-20

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