The Health Lottery’s announcement to extend its sales deadline has been welcomed by retailers.

The new 7.45pm Saturday evening deadline applies to both in store and online sales, and was introduced to help cope with last minute demand.

“This change is based on feedback from our customers and retailers,” said Health Lottery chief executive Martin Hall. “As the Health Lottery becomes more and more popular, there is always a chance of last-minute queues forming. The extra 15 minutes should ease pressure at the tills and make Saturday nights better for everyone.”

There had been concerns from retailers over transaction times when the Health Lottery was first introduced due to the numbers having to be manually inputted.

David Allen of Londis Beaminister in Dorset welcomed the additional time to process transactions. “Saturday evening is when demand for the Health Lottery is at its highest so any extra time will be very useful,” he said. “We’ve managed to condition customers to come in on other days to relieve the pressure but there will always be people who leave it till the last minute.”

The Health Lottery was launched last September and is offered through epayment terminals such as PayPoint and Payzone. It pledges to donate 20% of all sales to health charities and has raised over £8m for good causes since its launch.