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National Lottery provider Camelot has revealed its highest-ever ticket sales for the first half of 2021 (April-September), fuelled by Lotto and the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.

National Lottery ticket sales reached £3,961.4 million for the first six months of the financial year – an increase of £107.3 million on last year.

Camelot said the majority of the increase was driven by growing sales of draw-based games to £2,228.1 million – up £78.7 million, with special event draws and game features that drive player engagement and excitement.

A key strand of activity over the half-year was the National Lottery’s largest-ever brand campaign for Tokyo 2020 – a summer-long programme that reminded players that, every time they play a National Lottery game, they directly support Team GB and Paralympics GB athletes.

Camelot then went further to make the connection between ‘play and purpose’ by devising and staging two National Lottery Homecoming events at Wembley Arena. These were broadcast at primetime on BBC One and Channel 4 and gave thousands of National Lottery players a chance to welcome home their Olympic and Paralympic heroes with a stellar line-up of live entertainment.

Total in-store sales grew to £2,337.5 million – up £102.7 million. As a result, first-half retailer commission increased to £133.0 million – up £6.5 million and the equivalent of around £3,000 per store.

Retail remains the largest National Lottery sales channel and Camelot works closely with around 44,000 retailers across the UK, with independent outlets making up the majority.

Its in-store standards programme for independent retailers has continued to prove enormously successful, with £288,000 in cash rewards awarded to independent shopkeepers in the first half of the year. Additionally, retailer satisfaction scores continue to track at their highest-ever level.

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