How to Get the Most Out of Your Lottery Fundraisers


Lotteries are popular with voters because they provide a source of “painless” revenue. This revenue comes from players voluntarily spending their money to help public services. This dynamic is evident in the way that state lottery laws are structured.

While casting lots to decide fates and property has a long history (see the Bible), lotteries are more recent. The first recorded lotteries distributed prizes in the form of cash were held in the Low Countries in the 15th century.


Lottery games have a long history, dating back to ancient times. They were popular during the Roman Empire (Nero was a fan), and they’re even mentioned in the Bible. By the fourteenth century, they were common in the Low Countries and were used to raise money for town fortifications and other public works. Lotteries became especially popular in the United States, and many of its Founding Fathers, including George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson, ran them to raise funds for political or personal purposes.

The early United States was a country defined by its aversion to taxation, and it turned to lotteries as a source of “painless revenue.” In fact, the American version of the lottery was inspired by European lotteries. Its name is thought to come from the Dutch word for “fates.” Lotteries helped pay for Harvard, Yale, and the Rockefeller Center.

Odds of winning

The odds of winning the lottery are minuscule. Most people would agree that they are far more likely to be killed by lightning, hit by an asteroid, or end up in the E.R. after a pogo stick accident than to win the lottery. However, many people still think that they can improve their chances of winning by playing the lottery more frequently.

The odds of winning the lottery are based on combinatorics, and can be calculated using a simple formula. The formula has restrictions that prevent it from yielding impossible situations, but the computer program I wrote to calculate lottery odds can avoid these problems. It can also calculate the odds of winning a specific lottery game. Buying more tickets does not improve the odds of winning, since each ticket has independent probability.

Taxes on winnings

While winning the lottery is exciting, it’s important to consider tax implications before spending your prize money. Winnings are taxed like employment income, and they are usually subject to state and local taxes. You can reduce your tax bill by taking a lump sum or annuity payments, using the standard deduction, and by itemizing deductions.

Many lottery winners face a difficult choice when they win: whether to take their prize in a lump sum or as yearly payments. Both options have financial ramifications, and you should consult with a tax attorney or CPA to understand the impact of each choice.

Whether you choose a lump sum or annuity, you will be taxed at your federal rate in the year you receive the payment. You may also be required to pay withholding taxes in your home state, depending on where you live.

Scratch cards

Scratch cards can be a fun way to raise funds for your organization. They can also be a great way to introduce your cause to new donors. However, it’s important to make sure that your fundraising efforts remain mission-focused. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your scratch card fundraisers.

A scratchcard (also known as a lotto ticket, lottery ticket, scratcher, or scratchie) is a small card made of paper-based card for competitions and plastic to conceal PINs, where one or more areas contain concealed information which can be revealed by scraping off an opaque covering. Cards are widely used for gambling, as time-limited discount vouchers, and to promote premium rate telephone calling services. These cards always reveal that a prize has been won, but the nature and value of the prize is only revealed by phoning a premium rate claim line costing a substantial amount per minute.

Pooling arrangements

Lottery pools are common among work colleagues, and they can be a fun way to boost workplace camaraderie. However, a lottery pool requires high levels of organization and transparency to be successful. For example, a lottery pool with 50 participants who each contributed $1 has a fifty times greater chance of winning than an individual purchasing a single ticket.

Having a designated group leader with responsibilities like tracking members and buying tickets is important for lottery pool success. Also, requiring that all members share copies of their purchased tickets is vital to avoid disputes. Additionally, the pool manager should define how the prize will be divided and whether the winner will take a lump sum or annuity payments. These decisions can affect tax considerations.