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Charity & Lottery: How Your Ticket Changes Lives

One aspect of lotteries that often gets sadly overlooked is the incredible amounts of money they raise for charitable causes in local communities. It has become common for us to look only at jackpot, dream of winning and fantasise about what we would do with the money!

Sadly, we don’t always win a prize in the lottery. Every time we buy a ticket, however, we do something much more important – we invest in charity. Billions of rand are raised each and every year thanks to people like you and doing the simple act of buying a ticket for the lotto.

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South Africa’s National Lotteries

The National Lotteries of South Africa have also contributed massively towards bettering the lives of citizens since 1998. As part of the licensing requirements, 27% of all national lottery revenue must be transferred to the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF) every week. The NLDTF is required to safeguard the money, invest it and ensure that it is put to use in the best-possible way to benefit good causes.

In South Africa there is a clear and transparent application and funding process which has helped innumerable initiatives over the years. The Tembisa Child and Welfare Society is one organisation that has benefited. This wonderful society was established in 1986 to battle South Africa’s problem with lost, abandoned and abused children. Thanks to grants coming from lottery funding, the society is now able to not only take in children, but offer family preservation programmes, crisis intervention and family reunification programmes.

The funding process is also intended to be transparent and fair. The full list of beneficiaries is posted on the lotteries commission’s website, where organisations can also check their eligibility submit their applications for funding.

Postcode Lotteries

Postcode Lotteries first launched in the Netherlands in 1989. The premise was, and is, simple: your post code forms your lottery ticket and if your ticket wins you and your neighbours win the payout! Since its launch in 1989 The Post Code Lottery has spread across Europe, with players participating in versions in Norway, Sweden, Germany, and the UK. Thanks to this expansion, the Postcode Lottery has become not only a giver to charity but is now the third biggest lender to charities in the world!

Around 32% of each ticket sold goes directly to charity, helping to fund projects like “The Children 1st Bairn’s Hoose” in Scotland. This initiative received £1.5 million (R34.3 million), helping children and young people who suffered abuse and violence get protection, care, justice, and support from trained professionals.

This investment by the Post Code Lottery means that 280 children and their families will receive life-changing support every year, yet it is just one of the numerous incredible initiatives funded by this lottery every year.

Health Lottery

The Health Lottery in the UK is an example of a lottery that was founded specifically to raise money for people and projects in need. The lottery operates a number of different lottery style draws, as well as scratch cards and other instant win games, and its impact has been truly remarkable!

Since launching in October 2011, the Health Lottery has ring-fenced around 20.3% of every ticket sold to be used for charitable causes. This means that over £129 million has been collected for over 3,500 projects. These projects are diverse, serving various communities and specialties, including equine therapy, clubs to support people with mental health issues, community centres and creating a “People’s Parliament” in London for people with learning disabilities.

It is estimated that these projects have touched – and improved – the lives of over 659,000 people, proving the lotteries can truly work as a power for good on a national scale.

Irish National Lottery

The Irish National Lottery began offering lottery products in 1987, and since then it has raised more than €6 billion for good causes across the country. Almost 30% of Irish National Lottery ticket sales goes back to the community through causes that support various projects in sport, arts & culture, youth work heritage, health and community.

Over 4,000 individuals and organisations benefit from lottery funding in Ireland each year. The money generated from the lottery been used to befit a diverse range of causes. These include sending athletes to the Olympics, preserving heritage sites, supporting the Irish Guide Dogs institution and even investing in a community circus that promotes inclusivity!

California State Lotteries

Across the Atlantic, the California State Lottery was set up in 1984 with one mission in mind – to improve public education. To do this, lawmakers created the California State Lottery Act which demanded that 34% of all ticket sales would be used to fund education, while administration costs were capped at 16%. An amendment was made in 2010 meant that admin costs were further capped to 13%, meaning that the remaining funds would be returned to the public in one form or another (winnings, education funding etc.).

The California State Lotteries today include some of the most famous (and biggest) lotteries in the world, including MegaMillions and the US PowerBall. Remarkably, since its formation in 1984, the combined lotteries of California state are thought to have contributed $41.5 billion to the education sector, helping schools to attract new teachers and improve their facilities.


Lottoland is the epitome of a company who “think globally, act locally”. They have over 18 million customers in numerous countries across the world, yet they still strive to invest in the people of the countries they operate in. This is no more true than in our very own South Africa.

In recent years Lottoland has used its TV shows, Dankie, Lottoland and Help n’ Dorp, to invest millions upon millions of rand in charities, villages, and towns all over South Africa. During a recent season of Help n Dorp we witnessed communities like Victoria West, Oudtshoorn, and Hofmeyr get transformed with Lottoland’s help. Not only did the towns and villages get transformed thanks to donations from Lottoland, but each episode saw the local communities banding together to work as one to achieve their dream.

You can keep up-to-date on when Help n’ Dorp will be airing and how your community can apply on the Lottoland Magazine.