Retailers enjoyed a boost to National Lottery ticket sales as shoppers were swept up in the Olympic and Paralympic Games. However, there are concerns the Olympic legacy could be short lived, as EuroMillions ticket prices rise next week.

A number of retailers across the UK reported an uplift in tickets sales during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Kiran Basra, of Bierley Superstore and Post Office in Bradford, had experienced a “noticeable” rise in his ticket sales throughout August and September. “Camelot invested heavily in promoting the Games with special POS and advertising, and I think more people realised their money directly contributed to the success of Team GB,” he said.

The National Lottery contributed the majority of investment in Olympic and Paralympic Sports at Rio 2016 with more than £80m invested a year. Team GB and Paralympics GB medal tally has risen incrementally since Lottery funding was first awarded in 1997 - hitting a combined 214 medals at Rio.

Camelot held four special draws during August and September to celebrate the Games. The 27 August Lotto Medal Draw, in particular, saw an uplift of 30% vs the previous week “in what is often a tricky bank holiday weekend for lottery sales,” Camelot 
head of retail channel James Pearson said.

Julie Jones, of Morton Post Office & Stores in Lincolnshire, said the rise in ticket sales had been “even more noticeable” during the Paralympics. “I think people were so inspired by the athletes; lots of customers talked to us about them as they bought tickets,” she said.

However, one retailer, who did not wish to be named, said he was concerned that the forthcoming 50p price hike in a EuroMillions line could now trigger a slow-down in sales.

He told C-Store: “Shoppers are peeved about it, especially as the Lottery has gone from £1 a ticket to £2. All the comments we get are ‘This is the last time I’m going to play’.”

Future worries

”Ticket sales have been good over the summer and the link between Team GB and ticket sales was well promoted in store. However, I worry that the new price of £2.50 a line could put people off.”

Anita Nye, Eldred Drive stores, Orpington, Kent

“My lottery sales have gone down in recent weeks and a lot of people are annoyed about the EuroMillions price hike. Interestingly, scratch card sales are going up. ”

Manny Patel, Manny’s Long Ditton, Surrey

New EuroMillions format

The new, pricier, EuroMillions game is set to launch on Tuesday 27 September.

The cost per line will rise from £2 to £2.50. Camelot is promising “bigger jackpots more often, and more UK millionaires” as a result of changes.

A new ‘Mega Week’ will feature each month, replacing the Mega Friday draws.

The initial Mega Week will include two special draws - the first on 27 September - which will create a guaranteed 10 UK millionaires, each also winning a round-the-world trip. A one-off EuroMillions jackpot draw of £100m will follow on 30 September.