Independents have borne the brunt of a dip in sales of national lottery tickets since Camelot's high profile Lotto relaunch on May 18. The lottery operator blamed "dreadful weather" as it admitted last week's sales were "lower than before the relaunch", despite the multi-million pound relaunch nationwide ad campaign fronted by comedian Billy Connolly. Lottery ticket sales dropped to £43.6m last weekend, down from £55.2m on the relaunch weekend, and £44.3m on May 11. However, the multiples said their ticket sales had not suffered, indicating that the independents, with 60% of the terminals, had missed out. Sainsbury, Tesco and Safeway said ticket sales were slightly above normal on May 25 and Asda reported sales as level. Somerfield's figures had not been processed, but a spokeswoman said it expected a good performance because of a bespoke Camelot-Somerfield instore advertising campaign. Sales levels for many independents were not available, although a number said they were disappointing last weekend in view of the relaunch. Camelot said: "The drop last weekend is not unexpected. There has been player confusion about the new mechanics of bonus draws." Camelot also suffered severe distribution problems on a Lotto relaunch maildrop of pre-filled play-slips to 18 million homes. {{NEWS }}