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Statistics and research release

Funds raised for good causes Q3 2016 to 2017: Official statistics

Income from game sales by quarter and versus last year.

Official statistics


Since its launch in November 1994, the National Lottery has raised over £35 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 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 Quarter 3 2015 to 2016 and Quarter 3 2016 to 20171

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 the NLDF in Quarter 3 (October to December) was £431.0m. This was £26.1m (6.4%) above the July to September quarter’s total but £35.1m (7.5%) below Quarter 3 in 2015 to 2016:

NLDF Q3 16-17

Total funds raised for good causes between Quarter 3 2015 to 2016 and Quarter 3 2016 to 2017.
2015 to 2016
Quarter 3
2015 to 2016
Quarter 4
2016 to 2017
Quarter 1
2016 to 2017
Quarter 2
2016 to 2017
Quarter 3
Amount raised for good causes £466.1 million £563.5 million £368.3 million £404.9 million £431.0 million


The total for the third quarter was again an improvement on the previous quarter but it was also below that recorded in the same quarter last year, when sales were higher. The main drivers of the difference compared to the previous quarter were:

  • Higher EuroMillions sales, including where a guaranteed jackpot rolled to over £153m after the launch of the new EuroMillions game at the end of September
  • Lower Lotto returns despite comparable sales, reflecting a higher average prize pay out in Quarter 3
  • Higher unclaimed prizes, reflecting the timing of scratchcard payments


1 These amounts relate to the total value of proceeds from game sales raised for the NLDF in calendar quarters. Quarter 3 2016 to 2017 comprises funds raised between 25 September and 24 December 2016. They include all other income and adjustments from game sales, including unclaimed prizes.

Data and downloads


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