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Statistics and research release

Funds raised for good causes Q4 2019 to 2020

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 2018 to 2019 and Quarter 4 2019 to 20201

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 Q4 (January to March) was £439.12M. This was -£60.94M (-12.2%) below the October to December quarter and -£3.6M (-0.8%) below Q4 in FY 2018 to 2019. The last 5 quarters have generated £2.23bn to good causes.

Total funds raised for good causes between Q4 FY 2018-19 and Q4 FY 2019-20

Total funds raised for good causes between Quarter 4 2018 to 2019 and Quarter 4 2019 to 2020.
2018 to 2019
Quarter 4
2019 to 2020
Quarter 1
2019 to 2020
Quarter 2
2019 to 2020
Quarter 3
2019 to 2020
Quarter 4
Amount raised for good causes £442.7 million £388.2 million £460.9 million £500.1 million £439.1 million


Total returns for the final quarter of the current financial year were lower than the previous quarter by around £60million but remain broadly consistent with the previous four quarters. The decrease against Q3 is likely aided by the following:

The decrease against Q3 is likely aided by the following:

  • Overall, draw-based game sales were lower this quarter against the last at around -2%.
  • Q3 was unusually strong because of a record EuroMillions rollover streak in late September through to the middle part of October which boosted EuroMillions sales.
  • Total unclaimed prizes added as returns to good causes is around 9% (£4.6m) less than the previous quarter.

There was also a notable drop in returns to good causes from Lotto and EuroMillions this quarter against the last.

  • Lotto recorded £157m in Q3 and £145 million in Q4, an 8% decrease.
  • Similarly, EuroMillions recorded £156m in Q3 and £129m in Q4, a significant decrease of 18%.


1 Amounts relate to total value of proceeds from game sales raised for the NLDF in approximate calendar quarters. Q4 of FY 2019 to 2020 comprises funds raised between the week ending 4 January to the week ending 31 March. They include all other income and adjustments from game sales, including unclaimed prizes.

Data and downloads


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