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How Do Charities Benefit From Lottery Ticket Sales

A look at how charities benefit from lottery sales

The ultimate end of buying tickets for the lottery is the winning, or not winning, of a monetary prize. For the gaming public, this is the reason they spend their money on a chance of winning the lottery jackpot. But charities can’t buy tickets and can’t win the lottery. So how does the sale of lottery tickets help out charities?

Charity and Lottery go hand in hand

It is done through the regulators’ mandates that lottery profits from ticket sales go towards designated charities. This provides an open and clear demonstration to players that the profits that are made from from the lottery are not simply kept by the operator but spread throughout the community for the greater good.

Although charity distribution of lottery income varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, in genera terms the gaming regulator determines what percentage of lottery income goes to what charities after all expenses have been paid.

In some jurisdictions all the money must be paid to a specific benefactor such as to educational entities such as schools or school boards, or to state/provincial health agencies. Other jurisdictions layout a plan in which a long list of charities each get a certain percentage of the profits.

Charitable agencies, organizations, and operators rely quite heavily on the support and generosity of the local community. Fund-raising activities, donations, and volunteers all contribute to supporting a charity’s programs and benefactors. But sometimes that support is not quite enough for the charity to be able to provide its services, and the supplemental money that is dedicated to it through lottery games helps to make up the difference.

If it weren’t for the support of lottery profits, food banks would not be able to feed those in the community. Social agencies would lack the funds to help those who need shelter and clothing, or to be able to feed the less fortunate at soup kitchens. Medical clinics and other health related services would have to scaled back, putting the health of a lot of people in jeopardy due to lack of supplies or personnel. Mental health, homelessness, and other types of agencies would find an increase of people in need due to lack of funding.

So this mandate of charity support from lottery sales has a two-fold agenda: financially support agencies who support the public, and do so without using money acuqired by taxation. By doing this, lottery operators and regulators are able to justify the existence of lotteries as entertainment of choice in which the gaming public indirectly supports the charities.

The money made from lottery sales isn’t going into operators’ pockets or bank accounts, it is being used to support agencies in the community that strive to make life better for those less fortunate. And don’t forget that lottery prizes also indirectly support the community when players spend some of their newly acquired fortunes.

So next time you buy your lottery tickets, remember that every dollar you spend to buy a chance at winning millions of dollars helps support those people in your community who need help. Your chance at becoming a millionaire also provides a chance for someone to get some winter clothing or a hot meal in their belly.


Experience in the gaming industry