Buying a lottery ticket gives you the chance to win millions and thereby change your life forever. But, did you know that by purchasing a lottery ticket enables the lottery organisers to give back to good causes? With the CoVid-19 pandemic causing global financial strain all over the world, your ticket to freedom could mean more than you thought.
When many people think of how lottery winnings are spent, images of new mansions or lavish yachts and flashy cars zoom through the minds of jackpot hopefuls. While winning the jackpot will definitely give you the ability to make all your dreams a reality, behind the scenes every single lottery ticket sold makes a lot more people happy at the same time.
How lottery revenue is distributed
Lottery ticket sales bring in a huge amount of money. The majority of these funds (usually around 50 percent to 60 percent) depending on which lottery you’re looking at, goes to the winners.
As we know, retailers also receive commissions for selling tickets and bonuses for selling jackpot-winning tickets. This accounts for about 5 percent of the lottery's revenue.
Another 10 percent or so goes toward paying administrative costs and overhead for running the game. This includes, advertising, staff salaries, legal fees and other necessities are included in this category. The rest is usually allocated to Good Causes.
Let’s take a look at the various Good Causes from lotteries around the world:
US Powerball and Mega Millions Good Causes
The US Powerball and Mega Millions lottery funds are distributed based on ticket sales. The states who sell the most tickets receive a larger percentage of the revenue.
In 2015, the U.S. Census Board estimated that state-administered lotteries put over $21 million into state coffers, and that's not even considering the revenue from the larger multi-state lotteries like Powerball and Mega Millions.
The specific lottery systems differ in each state, but each state donates a percentage of the revenue generated from ticket sales to their own causes. As the exact cause differs by state, so does the percentage that it receives.
When it comes to the US Powerball and the Mega Millions lottery, 50 percent of the sales goes to the prize pool. The remaining 50 percent is used to pay for the states' retailer commissions, vendor fees, lottery administration, and the state beneficiaries or good causes.
Colorado - Charitable funds are split among various organizations and trusts dedicated to preserving the state's wildlife, parks, pools and trails.
Florida and Virginia and Missouri - An undisclosed amount of lottery ticket funds goes to the state's Educational Enhancement Trust Fund.
Texas – Texas also counts education as one of the good causes that receive lottery funds. 27.1 percent of the funds go towards education. Since 1997 they have contributed $22 billion to a public education fund.
Montana – Montana focusses on crime control.
Maryland - The fund supports public safety, public health, the environment, and education.
Iowa – Lottery funds are used to support veterans.
Wisconsin - Lottery profits offer homeowners property tax relief.
Nebraska - Nebraska distributes American lottery funds to several causes, such as recycling, lake improvement, and the state fair’s facilities.
North Dakota, Kansas, Louisiana, and Washington - lottery funds are spent on improving and providing programs for gambling addicts.
Pennsylvania - Over $900 million generated by the American lotteries has been used for programs for the elderly including free transportation, rent rebates and care services.
The US Powerball and Mega Millions are making sure the right areas are funded, don’t you think?
UK Lottery Global Good Causes Fund
The National Lottery is well-known for its Good Causes project. These projects are playing a vital role in supporting people, projects and communities especially now during these challenging times.
Here is a list of some of the events and activities that National Lottery-funded projects are hosting during the CoVid-19 pandemic and that you can do from home:
From the National Lottery Heritage Fund, you are now able to explore the British Museum from home!
Did you know that the British Museum was made possible because of the lottery? In 1753, England formed a lottery with the museum's creation in mind. Now more than 250 years later, the museum still receives funding in the form of Heritage Lottery Fund grants.
There is also a resource to help children stay entertained and to assist with home-schooling during this period.
When it comes to keeping fit, The National Lottery funded athletes are helping with Team GB’s #Workoutwednesday series:
Another new Lottery Funded campaign is #StayInWorkOut. This campaign gives you the advice and tools you need to help you do this while the country deals with the coronavirus outbreak. The campaign is packed with fun and creative ideas on how to get active at home.
For those who prefer to sit back and relax during this period, Netflix has five movies funded by the lottery you can watch.
WaterAid African charity benefits from £11m UK Lottery donation
As we know by now, handwashing is the first line of defence against the Coronavirus. Unfortunately, millions of people lack access to essentials such as clean water, reliable toilets and good hygiene to stay healthy. This is where the UK Lottery Fund stepped in and donated £11m to a well-known African campaign WaterAid.
WaterAid isn’t the only African campaign charity benefiting from funds raised through playing the UK Lottery but it is one of the biggest beneficiaries.
WaterAid aims to get to the root of health problems by ensuring that those affected gain access to basics like clean water.
It’s good to know that so many varied good causes benefit every year. The arts, supporting local people, physical and mental health, domestic abuse, environment and conservation – the list is endless. However, lotteries do not just fund domestic charities. Those helping vulnerable people and communities abroad gratefully welcome funds too.
By playing the lottery online, you will be part of the movement that seeks out waste-free digital alternatives as opposed to printed lottery tickets.
No matter who matches all six lucky Powerball Plus winning lottery numbers, the real winners are everyone who plays the lottery as a percentage of every ticket goes to environmental protection, education and a host of other projects.
Here’s to you winning a life-changing jackpot and making the world a better place.
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