The National Lottery is the UK's state-supervised gambling scheme, launched in a blaze of publicity in 1994, and still anchored by a weekly televised draw (although viewer audiences have declined significantly since the 1990s). There are also numerous other prize opportunities including instant win scratchcards and online bets via computer or smartphone. A good deal of the fever has gone out the lottery since launch, but it continues regularly to create millionaires out of ordinary punters while also delivering large sums of cash to the government and to numerous good causes including charities, community services, cultural institutions and events, and sporting initiatives, including the British Olympics and Paralympics teams. Financial performance has been slightly mercurial in recent years, with sales dipping slightly in 2017, partly as a result of higher entry prices for the main Lotto draw. However, a reorganisation of prize allocation to create more big winners and a new marketing push helped sales rebound, and Covid lockdowns added further incentives for players during 2020. As a result, sales hit a new record in the year ending Mar 2021 of £8.4bn. Total sales from draw-based games was £4.7bn, with another £3.7bn from instant-win scratchcards and the like. The largest share of sales is made through the lottery's 44,500 participating retailers: mostly supermarkets and convenience stores. Of the total sum generated, a total of £4.9bn was paid out in prizes to players, with 389 individuals becoming millionaires over the course of the year. Another £1.9bn was donated to good causes. Since inception, the license holder for the lottery has been corporate entity Camelot. It was awarded a third term in 2007, and now has rights to manage the lottery until 2023. It also provides consultancy services to other international lottery organisers. Camelot was originally a consortium co-owned by six investors including Cadbury and Royal Mail. They began to seek an exit route from 2008 onwards and two years later the remaining shareholders sold the business to Ontario Teachers Pension Plan, a Canadian investment fund. Andy Duncan stepped down as CEO in 2017, to be succeeded by Nigel Railton, previously CFO.
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Which agencies handle advertising for the National Lottery? Find out more from Adbrands Account Assignments
Who are the competitors of the National Lottery? See Toys & Games Index for other companies
Capsule checked 30th December 2019
Adbrands Daily Update 1st May 2019: Santander UK's long-serving marketing chief Keith Moor handed in his resignation after 24 years with the Spanish bank and its predecessor Abbey. He is joining Camelot, organisers of the UK National Lottery, as chief marketing officer.
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