It just goes to show that not all is doom and gloom in the time of the recession and the National Lottery does indeed give us all something to cling onto – Camelot Group, the consortium that runs the UK’s National Lottery is proving that financial hard times can pay off for some, as people are now more than ever turning to the hope of having a big win to get them out of times of strife!

Full year figures just released by the consortium revealed an increase of £302.7 million on the previous year’s figures of £5,149.1 million. These sales are the best National Lottery performance in a decade despite having to prepare for a new licence and having to deal with some of the most significant challenges they have ever had to face form the wider market.

While some might not be too happy at the consortium raking in such profits from others’ desire for a little bit of luck, especially in a time of recession and hardship, it must be remembered that any increase in sales performance for Camelot result in an increase in annual returns to the Good Causes – and this year they deliver the highest returns to the Good Causes in ten years, £1,548.4 million which is a rise of £170.8 million on 2008/09’s returns of £1,377.6 million.

Those who play the National Lottery have now helped raise over £24 billion for the Good Causes, money that has funded more than 330,000 individual lottery awards to date, and compared to other means of gambling the company’s policy is to encourage as many people as possible to be involved, with as little individual spend as possible – demonstrating clear evidence of being a truly responsible operator. The London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games are just one example of the good that can be done through the Lottery. The games are receiving a contribution of £2.2 billion from the National Lottery, £750 million of which comes from specially-designated games. Worldwide there has been a trend of slowing lottery sales, but not so in the UK where Camelot regularly refresh regular games as well as offer new and innovative ways of play.

All good stuff but as lottery players we most love hearing about the individuals who scoop the jackpots! The latest example is a couple from Manchester, Sharon and Nigel Mather who won £12,408,000 after matching all five numbers and two lucky stars in Friday 11 June’s EuroMillions draw. The couple who have two children only realised they had won the life-changing sum after Sharon checked the results on TV when they returned home from holiday. The ticket was bought during a week’s break to Minehead, which was a gift courtesy of Sharon’s father, John Morris, who wanted to treat the couple to some time away with the children. And they are not the only jackpot winners – with a UK millionaire created every week due to the National Lottery, it is definitely something worth being involved in!