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Statistics and research release

Funds raised for good causes Q1 2020 to 2021

Income from game sales by quarter and versus last year.


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 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 ensures that payments from the Lottery operator to the good causes are accurate and on time.

Key facts

Total funds raised for good causes between Q1 2019 to 2020 and Q1 2020 to 20211

The following chart 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 2019 to 2020. The last five quarters have generated £2.17bn to good causes

NLDF Q1 20-21

Total funds raised for good causes between Q1 2019 to 2020 and Q1 2020 to 2021.
2019 to 2020
Quarter 1
2019 to 2020
Quarter 2
2019 to 2020
Quarter 3
2019 to 2020
Quarter 4
2020 to 2021
Quarter 1
Amount raised for good causes £388.2 million £460.9 million £500.1 million £439.1 million £382.3 million


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 5.7%.
  • 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 sales from EuroMillions and scratchcards this quarter against the last.
  • EuroMillions sales were £408m in Q4 and £325m in Q1, a significant decrease of 20%.
  • Scratchcard sales were affected the most from the impacts of COVID-19 and as a result, sales were down by 16% compared to the last quarter.


1 Amounts relate to total value of proceeds from game sales raised for good causes in approximate calendar quarters. Q3 of 2020 to 2021 comprises funds raised between the week ending 3 October to the week ending 26 December. They include all other income and adjustments from game sales, including unclaimed prizes.

Data and downloads


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