The National Lottery raised £1.85bn for good causes in 2019-20, a £200m increase on the year before.
Camelot UK Lotteries Limited, which operates the National Lottery, said that in the financial year from 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020, both ticket sales and contributions to good causes were up.
Ticket sales increased by 9.7% to £7.9bn, while funds given to good causes grew by 12%.
Sales of draw-based games, which give a larger proportion of ticket price to good causes compared to instant-win games, increased by £455m to £4.5bn.
This year’s results were in contrast with last year’s, when overall ticket sales grew but both funds raised for good causes and sales of draw-based games fell.
Camelot underwent a strategic review in November 2017, after a National Audit Office report found that its profits had risen by 122% over seven years while returns to good causes only grew by 2%.
Nigel Railton, CEO of Camelot, said: “Three years on from our strategic review, we are seeing growth across all areas of the business. Crucially, our best-ever sales performance has delivered a £200m boost to good causes at a time when the UK needs it most.”
The National Lottery announced in April that up to £600m of funding raised for good causes would be repurposed to tackle the impact of coronavirus.
This includes up to £300m via the National Lottery Community Fund to support people and communities, £157m via Sport England for the sport and physical activity sector, £144m via Arts Council England for individuals and organisations across the cultural sector, and £50m via the National Lottery Heritage Fund to support the heritage sector.
This year ‘will inevitably be challenging’
Camelot’s annual results cover the year ending March 2020 and largely predate the coronavirus crisis.
Camelot said that the pandemic will have an impact on results, and that “the year ahead will inevitably be challenging”.
Railton said: “Like many businesses, Camelot has seen disruption as a result of the pandemic – particularly in retail. But, thanks to a combination of the foundations we’ve laid over the last three years and some urgent interventions to respond to the current situation, our sales are currently proving resilient.
“That’s not to say there is no impact, but the business is adapting and continuing to adjust well to the changing situation.
“With good causes front of mind, our focus now is to forge ahead in making progress with our plans while maintaining operational resilience and flexibility.”