Around the world, lotteries remain a popular staple in many nations and cultures. For instance, in the United Kingdom, it’s thought that 70% of the adult population – about 45 million people – buys a lottery ticket on a regular basis. A further 50% of adults play at least once a month, and everyone who plays is helping to fund charities and other good causes in their country. In fact, according to the UK National Lottery’s official page, they’ve raised over £39 billion over the decades, the equivalent of 190 lottery grants for every postcode in the UK.
Clearly, the UK is using lotteries to help their country, but is North America doing the same? Let’s take a look.
Throughout Canada, there are plenty of different lotteries, which makes it more difficult to really figure out exactly where the money is directed. That said, we didn’t find any lotteries that weren’t being used to help charities and other good causes. For instance, in London, Ontario $4.8 million from the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) has been channelled into dozens of building projects. This is particularly interesting since the corporation and people of Ontario are now having to ask: will the OLG privatization affect us? They are fighting to keep the OLG in public control so it can continue to aid the county, and we hope they manage to win.
“Summer in the city” (CC BY 2.0) by VV Nincic
Meanwhile, in the USA, it seems many lotteries are also funding plenty of different projects around the county. In a Fortune article by Stephen Gandel, it was found that funds from the Powerball lottery were being put towards schools, councils, universities and other public services in many states. Speaking of states, many state-centric lotteries are also helping. The Californian Lottery, which happens to be the fastest growing lottery in the whole of the USA, is going almost entirely towards funding public schools. Of all the lottery funds, 80.2% are being channelled into grades from kindergarten all the way up to grade 12. The rest goes to community colleges, the University of California and the rest of the California State University system.
So, it seems that North America is really using lottery funds to help those in need, as well as public services. These are just a few examples, of course, and we’d love to know if you know of any lottery funds that are also being used to help others.