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Statistics and research release

Funds raised for good causes Q4 2017 to 2018

Income from game sales by quarter and versus last year.


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 4 2016 to 2017 and Quarter 4 2017 to 20181

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 chart below now 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 4 (January to March) was £427.0m. This was £45m (9.5%) below the October to December quarter and £1.4m (0.3%) below Quarter 4 in 2016 to 2017:

NLDF Q4 17-18

Total funds raised for good causes between Quarter 4 2016 to 2017 and Quarter 4 2017 to 2018.
2016 to 2017
Quarter 4
2017 to 2018
Quarter 1
2017 to 2018
Quarter 2
2017 to 2018
Quarter 3
2017 to 2018
Quarter 4
Amount raised for good causes £428.4 million £351.7 million £424.9 million £472.0 million £427.0 million


The total for the fourth quarter of the year was below that recorded in the third quarter of 2017 to 2018, but only slightly below the amount recorded in the same quarter of 2016 to 2017.

Contributions of both main draw games were weaker in Quarter 4 for the following reasons:

  • Lotto’s jackpot reached its capped maximum level only once (concurrent with the seasonally important Christmas super-raffle event included in the Quarter 4 period), versus twice in the previous quarter.
  • EuroMillions saw one extended jackpot roll series, reaching £156m in February, against two occasions where the jackpot exceeded £100m in Quarter 3.

Other income performance was well below that in Quarter 3, which had included significant one-off items such as the annual payment of unclaimed Scratchcard prizes.

Performance was slightly lower than the same quarter last year, when higher EuroMillions sales and contributions almost offset lower sales and contributions from Lotto.


1 These amounts relate to the total value of proceeds from game sales raised for the NLDF in calendar quarters. They include all other income and adjustments from game sales, including unclaimed prizes.

This document supersedes a previously published version. During the period concerned (relating to data published in the Q2 2017 to 2018 to Q1 2018 to 2019 updates), the Commission’s approach to analysing quarterly data changed and therefore inconsistent information was presented on our website without explanation. The Commission changed its approach to ensure the periods reported are more comparable to each other. All documents concerned have now been updated to ensure consistent data is presented

Data and downloads


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