Review of the Year 2021

2021: the year of The National Lottery’s £1.2Billion helping hand

The pandemic continued to dominate headlines in 2021. But our athletes’ amazing performances at the Tokyo Olympics gave us all a reason to cheer and 360 lucky players joined an exclusive club by becoming National Lottery millionaires.

Funding from The National Lottery again made a vital contribution to charities and organisations impacted by the coronavirus. Since the start of the pandemic, an amazing £1.2Billion of National Lottery funding has been distributed to projects responding to the outbreak.

Since 1994 when the National Lottery was set up, players like you have helped raise more than £45Billion for good causes. That’s everything from heritage sites like Stonehenge to grassroots organisations working to end loneliness and isolation. During 2021, more than 660,000 individual grants were made to good causes across the UK – the equivalent of around 235 in every UK postcode district.

2021 was also an extraordinary year for National Lottery winners. A total of 360 players joined the exclusive millionaires club last year – that’s nearly 1 new millionaire every single day.

As part of this, more than £4.7Billion was paid out in prize money and 853 National Lottery players won a major prize of £50,000 or more.

2021 was the year we met Scottish key workers Paul and Louise Drake, who scooped a fabulous £5.1Million Lotto jackpot. We got to hear Holly Saul’s goosebump-worthy call to the National Lottery Line which confirmed she had won £1Million and we watched an emotional video of ex-professional footballer Terry Kennedy learning he’d netted £1Million on a Lotto Lucky Dip ticket.

The biggest win of 2021 – a staggering £122Million EuroMillions jackpot – was won on 2nd April by a UK ticket-holder who chose to remain anonymous. Just 2 months later, on 4th June, another UK player, who again chose to remain anonymous, banked a whopping £111Million EuroMillions jackpot. These massive wins were among 5 multi-million pound prizes won by players during 2021.

And while we’re on the subject of prizes, it seems builders and professional drivers were among the most frequent winners during 2021. Builders took the top spot, professional drivers were in 2nd position and those in the engineering/manufacturing professions and care/social work/charity sectors came in third and fourth in terms of the number of wins.

In the summer, the nation’s spirits were lifted when our athletes took part in highly successful 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. Team GB won a phenomenal 65 medals and ParalympicsGB bagged an incredible 124 medals.

Several sporting milestones were reached in Tokyo. Adam Peaty won the 100th Gold medal for Team GB since The National Lottery began funding athletes in 1997.

Meanwhile, paratriathlete George Peasgood clinched the 1000th medal since the start of National Lottery funding of both summer and winter Olympic and Paralympic sport.

To celebrate these achievements and welcome our athletes home, The National Lottery held star-studded Homecoming events for Team GB and ParalympicsGB at Wembley Arena.

Another summer celebration supported by players was The National Lottery Revive Live Tour. In a bid to help the struggling grassroots music sector The National Lottery contributed £1Million to underwrite the cost of hundreds of live gigs, including special one-off shows by Sir Tom Jones, Rag ‘N’ Bone Man, Mahalia and James Arthur.

Data source

  • National Lottery prize winners of over £1Million from 01/01/21 to 28/12/21
  • The amount won (£4.7Billion) from 27/12/20 to 18/12/21 due to financial reporting periods
  • Amount distributed to Good Causes taken from April 2020 – March 2021

4th January 2022

The National Lottery has been changing the lives of winners and supporting good causes across the UK since 1994. In that time, there have been more than 6,500 new millionaires created and by playing The National Lottery you raise over £30 million for good causes every week.

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