Lotto rebuffs claims that latest figures conceal further sales slump

Camelot has rejected claims that recent changes to the way it reports its figures to the national news media were an attempt to conceal a continuing drop in sales for the main Saturday Lotto draw.

Its latest figures issued on Monday (August 19) included the new Hotpicks game in the total ticket sales. With Hotpicks sales, the Lotto took £43.3m last weekend – without them, it was £39.4m, a record low. The previous low of £39.5m was on July 27.

A Camelot spokeswoman says the new format reflected the manner in which national media wanted to report the figures. She adds: “They have told us they want the numbers put together because they are based on the same draw.” She says claims that putting the two figures together was an attempt to mislead were “cynical in the extreme”.

A spokesman for industry regulator the National Lottery Commission says the change seemed “odd” and that it would look into the matter. Camelot says it will amend the format again to split the figures for Hotpicks and the main draw.

The Hotpicks game, where players can win up to £7,000 by correctly guessing two, three or four of the numbers appearing in the main Lotto draw, was launched on July 10. Saturday sales have been more than £4m each week, except the first week (£3.8m) and last week. Camelot admits that Hotpicks has cannibalised the main draw to some extent.

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