As Camelot’s time in charge of the National Lottery comes to an end, figures reveal the areas that have benefitted the most during its near 30-year history. Camelot has run the National Lottery since it was launched in 1994, helping to transform the lives of 6,300 lucky winners who were made overnight millionaires when their numbers came up.
Now, the Gambling Commission has announced Allwyn Entertainment Ltd as its preferred applicant for the lottery’s next licence, which starts in 2024, bringing Camelot’s association with the national game to an end. But the real winners have been the many charities, clubs, museums, art galleries and other good causes that have benefitted from funding boosts.
In total, the National Lottery has raised more than £45billion for 660,000 good causes across the UK. The largest single payment ever made was used to fund the Millennium Dome. The huge exhibition centre built in Greenwich – which ultimately attracted barely half of the number of visitors predicted and was widely branded a failure – received £600 million in lottery funding in 1997.
Another £149million went to the Power to Change Trust, a charitable trust dedicated to supporting community businesses in England; and £120m was used to rebuild Wembley Stadium. While lottery funding has been distributed across every corner of the UK, Government figures show Westminster has benefitted more than anywhere else.
The 10 areas that received most funding per capita from the National Lottery
Authority // Lottery total / per head
In total, good causes in the London borough have received £1.2bn from the National Lottery. That works out as the equivalent of £4,571 for every resident of Westminster. Grants handed out to good causes in Westminster include £78.5m for the restoration and extension of the Royal Opera House, £51m to the Tate Gallery and £34.8m to the Forces in Mind Trust, a UK-wider project to help ex-armed forces personnel successfully transition to civilian life.
Greenwich has received the next-highest amount per capita, followed by Islington and then Camden. Outside London, the area to benefit most from funding for good causes is the Orkney Islands. A total of £38m has been received by good causes on the islands, the equivalent of £1,721 for every resident.
Ten areas that received the least funding (excluding Northern Ireland)
At the other end of the spectrum, only £15,000 has been handed out to good causes in Welwyn Hatfield in Hertfordshire – the equivalent of about 12p per person living there. Now a new era of the lottery is set to start when Allwyn Entertainment Ltd takes over running the national game.
The Gambling Commission said four firms had applied to run the lottery, the highest ever number of applicants, and that Camelot has been named as the “reserve applicant”. Allwyn is a UK-based subsidiary of Europe’s largest lottery operator Sazka, which is owned by Czech oil and gas tycoon Karel Komarek. Its board members include Lord Coe and entrepreneur Sir Keith Mills, who were both members of the London 2012 Olympics organising committee.
Sir Keith Mills, Allwyn’s bid chairman, said: “The National Lottery is a national treasure and we are honoured to have been chosen as its future custodian. With the Gambling Commission having put its trust in us, we can immediately start to enact our exciting plans to deliver the National Lottery back to the heart of our country. We will do this by rekindling the meaning the National Lottery has for each of us, whether as individuals or as part of the communities we live in; whether we play the National Lottery or not.”
How Lottery money has been spent – the full list