Retailers have reported a strong weekend of National Lottery sales for the first draw with an increased price and changed prize structure.
For the October 5 draw, the price rose from £1 to £2 with enhanced prizes for players.
There had been some concern that the increase in price would put some customers off, but the incentive of a raffle offering 1,000 prizes of £20,000 as well as a £10m jackpot kept the tills ringing.
Stephen Barker of S&J News in Rochester, Kent, reported strong sales for the draw. “Sales were very good with lots of new faces in the store,” he said.
“Only one person switched to the Health Lottery, but everyone was buzzing with the new game and liked the idea of the raffle. There was some initial confusion, but we explained it well to all our customers.”
Adam Phillips of Phillips News in Boscombe, Bournemouth, Hampshire, had his best weekend for National Lottery sales in years. “We did three to four times the amount of sales last weekend than normal,” he said. “It’s been exceptional with some new faces on top of the regular customers.”
Abi Amar of Amar News in Brighton, East Sussex, said that despite the extensive media campaign to raise awareness of the changes, customers were still surprised by them.
“A lot of them went for the other £1 National Lottery games because they didn’t want to spend twice the amount for the same number of chances,” he said. “We still had a lot of customers, but I think there should be more incentive for people to play on Wednesday nights as those are always quieter.”
A Camelot spokesperson said: “It was a fantastic opening night for new Lotto. We’re thrilled with players’ and retailers’ enthusiasm for the new game. National Lottery outlets up and down the country reported an incredibly busy day on Saturday, with a last-minute frenzy of players just before the draw.”