Camelot has announced its highest-ever interim National Lottery sales and record prize payouts to players in the six months to 26 September 2015.

The National Lottery operator succeeded in growing total ticket sales to £3.6bn, up £145m on the same period last year.

It also awarded a record £2.01bn in prize money and generated £875m for National Lottery Good Causes.

In-store sales hit £2.9bn, an increase of £34.5m on the previous year. Accounting for over 80% of all sales, retail remains the largest National Lottery sales channel.

Sales were also boosted by 15% year-on-year growth across The National Lottery’s GameStore range of online and in-store instant play games. This was driven by the launch of over 30 new Scratchcards, online Instant Win Games, higher prize payouts and second chance draws.

James Pearson, head of retail channel at Camelot, said: “Thanks to very strong growth in our GameStore category – and the ongoing great efforts of our retail partners – we’ve made an extremely positive start to the financial year. In just six months, we’ve delivered almost £2.9bn for our players and for National Lottery projects – making a truly life-changing difference to people and communities throughout the UK.

“As we head into the second half of the year, we’re determined to build on this impressive performance. On top of the successful changes we’ve recently made to our flagship Lotto game to give our players more chances than ever to become a millionaire, we’ve got some really exciting plans to further enhance our games in the coming months – all of which will ensure that we deliver even more for our winners and for the millions of people for whom National Lottery funding is so vital.”