The lottery is a game which can be described as a means of raising money by selling tickets where the winner is decided by a draw. The contestant whose ticket matches the number drawn is considered to be the winner of the prize. While lotteries were initially banned its ability to raise funds were quickly realised and governments started to use this ability to fund government project and programs.
It is believed that this practise dates back to as far as 187 B.C. where lotteries were held in China with the aim of using the proceeds to finance building of the Great Wall of China. In 1746, a lottery was used to collect funds for the building of a college, this college was to become world renowned Columbia University. Lotteries also contributed to the funding of other universities such as Yale and Harvard. The National Lottery in South Africa also contributes a large amount of their proceeds to charities and non-governmental organisations which require this funding to stay in business.
The National Lotteries Board which is tasked with the distribution of funds to the various charities and non-governmental organizations has indicated an increase in applications from 4000 previously to 8300.
Funds are distributed amongst various categories namely such as Arts and culture, charities and sport. Organisations that fall under the miscellaneous category are also catered for. In February 2014 the National Lotteries Board together with the National Lotteries Distribution Trust Fund distributed amounts of R87,765,720 towards Arts, Culture and National Heritage, R38,980,813 to Charities; R36,012,629 towards Sport and Recreation and R2,002,615 towards Miscellaneous organizations such as the South African Council of Churches.
This clearly indicates the power that lotteries have to generate a steady income. In the past a large number of non-governmental organizations had to close down due to a lack of funding. The income generated from the lottery means that these organizations can now receive sufficient funding to keep fighting the good fight. Whether funding is used to build a university or to sustain a soccer team the lottery ensures that funds are available that can be put to good use.