Sales of Lotto, the twice-weekly National Lottery draw and the UK’s biggest grocery brand, have slumped to their lowest level this decade, sliding £105m in the year to April 1, 2008.
New figures from The National Lottery Commission show sales have fallen by a third since 2000 and in 2007/8 hit £2.75bn, a 3% drop on the previous year.
Lottery operator Camelot has previously declined to give figures for annual Lotto sales, preferring to focus on overall sales, which rose 1% in 2007/8 to £4.966bn. This upturn was fuelled by strong growth in scratchcards and instant-win internet games, which rose by over 20% on the previous year to £1.1bn, and sales of Euromillions rose by over 10% to £476m.
Camelot’s strategy is to develop new games and channels, such as playing online, but this appears to be cannibalising sales of its long-standing games. Thunderball sales are down by 6% and HotPicks by nearly 5%.
A spokesman says: “Some 35% of our sales come from games or innovations introduced in this licence period. Our strategy is to increase overall sales and we have achieved that. Over the past five years there has been an 8.5% (£391.8m) increase in sales.We will continue to support Lotto.”