Lottery and Child Support by Countries – Facts & Stats 2022

The lottery games that we explain and disclose the results on this website exist for more than giving players fun and a chance of becoming rich. Their proceeds tend to be distributed back to the community in the form of child support and for application in education, arts, sports, health, and other sectors. Also, there are so-called charity lotteries that do not collect profit and aim solely at giving back.

We reunited the most interesting facts and statistics of 2022 on the lotteries and their support to the community. Take some of your time to study our graphics and lists and understand how your game is redirected to helping other people.

Models of Child Support and Charity by Lotteries

Lotteries distribute the lottery proceeds aimed at good causes in different ways. It depends on the model with which that distribution has been set up, which can fall within one of the following four categories, as preconized by the ICNL:

Category How the Distribution Works Applied in
Government Distribution by a state or governmental body. How much is distributed, and the benefited areas are provided by the local law or the government. Croatia, Denmark, Finland, Sweden
Independent Body Entities who are not the government or the lottery operator themselves decide what areas are benefited from the charity. The law might have determinations on that distribution, but individual grants are provided by the independent entity. New Zealand, South Africa, United Kingdom
Lottery Operators Lottery operators define their support level and distribution as part of their CSR program. Romania, Serbia, Slovenia
Defined by Law The law defines the beneficiaries of the lottery proceeds in the country. Macedonia

Some of the countries dedicate their lottery proceedings to support several departments, such as sports, education, and health. Others are fully aimed at a specific area, such as The Health Lottery from the United Kingdom, which dedicates 20.3% of ticket proceeds to health cases.

Facts & Stats of Country Lotteries with Child Support and Charity Contributions

  • The National Lottery of the UK, responsible for games like Lotto and Thunderball, donates 28% of its proceeds to support the community, even more than the 20.3% of The Health Lottery.
  • 30% of the proceeds from the Aktion Mensch lottery in Germany are used to support over 10,000 projects for the disabled and other vulnerable groups.
  • 81% of the income of the ONCE Foundation, responsible for supporting social and labor integration for people with disabilities, comes from the Pro-blind Cupón Lotto scheme in Spain.
  • Postcode Lotteries, present in the Netherlands, Sweden, Scotland, and England give different percentages to charity depending on the country. In the Netherlands, it is 50%; in Sweden, 22.5%; in the UK, it is 20%.

The UK Lottery

The United Kingdom counts on social lottery, which are local organizations with games that come with smaller prizes. Among them, The Health Lottery and the People’s Postcode Lottery are the most popular ones.

It is the UK National Lottery that is the most recognized lottery in the country, and it also has the biggest distribution to good causes. It collects 28% of the proceeds and distributes the following way:

  • Health, Education, and Environment: 40%
  • Arts: 20%
  • Heritage: 20%
  • Sports: 20%

The most recent data indicates that the National Lottery already distributed over £45 billion according to the structure above.

Distribution of proceeds in the UK

 

The UK National Lottery was created in 1993 and was reformed under the National Lottery Act of 1998 and also the National Lottery Act of 2006. It is a member of the World Lottery Association and has been regulated by the UK Gambling Commission since October 2013. Its past regulators were the Office of the National Lottery (1993-1999) and the National Lottery Commission (1999-2013).

Canada

Each province that allows lotteries has its own understanding when it comes to the distribution of the local lottery proceeds. The Lottery Review Committee of each province determines where funds go:

  • Ontario Lotteries and Gaming Corporation (OLG) – Health care, recreational activities, scientific and medical research, responsible gambling problems, art and culture, education, local charities.
  • Alberta Lotteries and Gaming Commission – Disbursements of Alberta are aimed towards public initiatives and local programs and foundations, including culture, education, agricultural and rural development, health, human services, tourism, and preservation.
  • British Columbia Lottery Corporation – The majority of the remaining money from lottery proceeds goes to the government of BC to support public programs, education, and community groups. Around 20% of that value is aimed at health initiatives and another 20% for supporting non-profit organizations. Other areas that receive a smaller portion of the proceeds include strategies for responsible gambling, local government payments, economic development initiatives, and gaming policy.
  • Western Canada Lottery Corporation – 47.9% of the proceeds is what is left after the prizes are paid in the WCLC. Then, 33.1% goes to the provinces and territories.

The United States of America

The United States does not apply a single rule for lotteries across the country. Each state determines its own rules, from gambling age to how much is donated to charity or to support the community. However, multi-state games that are offered in many states and are even available for players worldwide on the best lottery sites apply a single rule:

  • Powerball – From what is left after the huge millionaire jackpot payments, Powerball distributes a lot to public initiatives, but an enormous amount of about 20% is donated to charity, but each state gets to determine if it goes to child support or another type of contribution. In Pennsylvania, for example, Powerball proceedings serve the needs of the elderly.
  • Mega Millions –  50% of the Mega Millions ticket sales go to where each state determines. In total, about 21% goes to charities, similar to Powerball. So far, dozens of billions of dollars have been donated already, mainly to research funds and education.

New Zealand

Around 23% of the money from lottery sales represents the profit coming from it, and it is all returned to the community since the Gambling Act 2003. The lottery is run by the New Zealand Lotteries Commission. Similar to other countries, the variety of supported causes is huge and include:

  • Outdoor safety services.
  • Protection of the environment and heritage.
  • Health and community research.
  • Community facilities.
  • Connection of communities and promotion of wellbeing and quality of life.

Norway

The Lottery Act in Norway ensures, among other things, that profit from lottery proceeds is allocated to support good causes. Local charity lotteries donate around 40% of the proceeds to charities, including humanitarian, cultural, and other beneficial organizations. Since the re-regulation of the market in 2015, the following rules apply to charity lotteries in Norway:

  • All profits of the lotteries must go to charities and their charitable work.
  • Only charities can obtain a license valid for 9 years.
  • The country issues a maximum of five licenses.
  • There is a limit to the annual turnover at 300 million NOK (approximately 30 million EUR) per license.

Hong Kong

The Lotteries Fund was created back in 1965 to finance social welfare services, and its main source of income is the Mark Six lottery game, but it also collects money from investment and auctions of vehicle registration numbers. The Fund received over $1.10 billion in the period 2020-21. The current allocation is distributed the following way:

  • Elderly Services: 79.66%
  • Rehabilitation and Medical Social Services: 11.38%
  • Family & Child Welfare: 6.92%
  • Young People: 1.92%
  • Social Welfare Support: 0.11%
  • Services for Offenders: 0.01%

Distribution in Hong Kong

 

Israel

The national lottery of Israel, Mifal HaPais was founded in August 1951 to construct a hospital in Tel Aviv and other healthcare applications. It never ceased to contribute to the community and expanded its projects to the arts, recreation, and education as well.

South Africa

According to the National Lotteries Commission of South Africa, after regulations published back in 2010, the Charities Distributing Agency of the South African lottery must allocate at least 50% of the money after the payment of prizes to organizations involved in:

  • Training and development of infrastructure for the care of the elderly, the ill, and vulnerable groups – orphans included.
  • Provision of educational facilities for childhood and adult education.
  • Improvement of the quality of life of the whole community.

The six vulnerable groups that can be considered for funding in South Africa are the following:

Group Included Not Included
Children OVCs (Orphans and Vulnerable Children) and Child-headed households. Includes street and homeless children who were abandoned without accommodation. Other children.
Youth Young people in Drop-In Center programs or conflicted with the law or ex-offenders in diversion programs. Youth that requires assistance with substance abuse as well. Young people who are already in programs for capacity or skill development.
Elderly People of pensionable age in day-care programs or residential facilities or similar. Elderly who are not of pensionable age and not participating in related programs.
Families Families in need of assistance or intervention with the assistance of a Social Worker. Families that did not request intervention at a registered organization.
People with Disabilities People with disabilities in residential facilities; day-care; stimulation, and work placement or support programs. Individuals with disabilities but not part of an organization.
Homeless Homeless people who are destitute, abused, abandoned, and without an accommodation that is stable. The homeless are not part of an organization.

European Union – The EL (European Lotteries)

The European State Lotteries and Toto Association (European Lotteries, EL) is the umbrella organization for over 40 national lotteries in European countries. Some real examples of the application of the funds include those mentioned in its official website:

  • ONCE (The National Association for the Blind), Spain – Supports over 71,000 jobs – 57% of people with disabilities – and provides more than €230 per year for social support towards people with disabilities.
  • OPAP, Greece – Renovated the two largest hospitals for children in the country, and it is a project still in progress.
  • Loterie Nationale Loterij, Belgium – Funds medical services and studies to fight cancer.
  • VEIKKAUS, Finland – Almost half of the budget of the local Ministry of Education and Culture to support arts and culture comes from the lottery.
  • Lottomatica, Italy – Also aimed towards art and culture, already restored Michelangelo’s Moses in 2017.

Characteristics of Charity Lotteries

The countries that use the lotteries as a fundraising tool for charity tend to share some characteristics and differ from lotteries that collect profit. In accordance with the ICNL (International Center for Not-For-Profit Law), they are:

  • The goal is to fund Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) or support their own activities that aim at vulnerable or disadvantaged groups.
  • Part of the income is donated to beneficiaries like non-profit organizations.
  • No profit is collected for the company.
  • An independent body is responsible for allocating and distributing the funds.
  • There must be a license issued by the government and a local authority responsible for the regulation.

Lottery Winners Who Donated Their Winnings

  • South Carolina, US – One woman from South Carolina received a lump sum of $870 million after taxes, the record Mega Millions jackpot of 2019. At that time, Alabama had been struck by tornadoes. She did not think twice and donated a portion of her prize to the Red Cross and other charity organizations.
  • New Hampshire, US – One lucky winner who won $559.9 million in January 2018 decided to separate $50 million in donations. Some of the charities that received it were Girls Inc. and End 68 Hours of Hunger.
  • France – A winner of the Euromillions game won 72 million EUR in January 2014 and decided to donate a big part of it, approximately 50 million, to over a dozen organizations.
  • New York, US – Not only huge winners donate to charity, as the winner of a $3 million windfall from a scratch-off ticket donated the entire prize to the True North Community Church of Port Jefferson. It was set to be gifted in annual portions of $102,000. The church continued the good act and donated to charity organizations as well.
  • Iowa, US – The winner of a $350 million Powerball prize in 2018 started her own foundation dedicated to the memory of her grandson. She also made official donations like $500,000 to the Travis Mill Foundation.

FAQs

Does Every Country Lottery Donate to Child Support or Charity?
As a general rule, lotteries are an additional source of income for governments. Therefore, at least a portion of the proceeds is directed to support the community, as taxes do, and it might include charitable organizations.
Is It Optional to Contribute when Purchasing Lottery Tickets?
No, the organization or government responsible for the lottery defines where the proceeds go.
Is It Ethical to Use Lotteries for Child Support and Charity?
That is an ongoing debate. For some people, lotteries are only a way to add optional taxes to the citizens. On the other hand, there are lucky winners, and a portion of the proceeds go to the benefit of the community. If donations were to be made without the games, the revenue would be only a small portion of what it is with them.
Were There Frauds in This Type of Scheme?
There are scams in everything that involves money, but playing games provided by licensed entities or national lotteries of countries with a long history is a safe option.

References

https://www.national-lottery.co.uk/life-changing/where-the-money-goes

https://www.healthlottery.co.uk/blog/how-to-pick-the-best-charity-lottery-to-play/

https://www.gamingpost.ca/canadian-lottery-news/where-does-your-lottery-money-go/

https://mylotto.co.nz/community-funding

https://augustafreepress.com/which-lotteries-give-most-to-charity/

http://www.nlcsa.org.za/charity/

https://www.nlcsa.org.za/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/CDA-Vulnerable-groups-FINAL.pdf

https://www.acleu.eu/charity-lotteries

https://www.icnl.org/resources/research/ijnl/lottery-proceeds-as-a-tool-for-support-of-good-causes-and-civil-society-organizations-a-fate-or-a-planned-concept

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