The UK government has hit the jackpot with record lottery duty receipts from the National Lottery, as UK players turn to the lottery in an attempt to win their way out of stagnating wages and economic hardship during the recession.
Lottery duty is charged at 12% of lottery ticket sales and receipts have been rising strongly since 2007. In 2007 lottery duty was GB£ 577.8 million and the provisional figure recorded by HMRC for 2011 is GB£ 765.5 million, some 32% higher.
In March 2012 the National Lottery Commission extended Camelot’s licence by four years, taking it to 2023. Camelot has also been given permission to expand the number of lottery outlets by 8,000. Camelot believes it will be able to generate an extra GB£ 540 million in lottery duty as a result of these measures.
29% of the 2,060 respondents in the survey said that winning the lottery represented the best hope of improving their bank balance.
In July 2011 a couple from Scotland won GB£ 161 million and in October 2011 a Cambridgeshire couple won GB£ 101 million. The winning streak has continued in 2012 with two jackpots of around GB£ 40 million being won by UK players.
The government, for one, will be hoping it continues. If the jackpot gets high enough, buying a lottery ticket might even form part of the government’s own debt reduction plan.