Lottery Winnings: Should you Give to Charity?
Most lottery winners experience a feeling of guilt after collecting their lottery winnings. Why? Well simply put, although winning the lottery is a pretty nice feeling many people find it difficult to justify the fact that they didn’t actually earn that money. It isn’t uncommon for lottery winners to experience a certain amount of shame as they come to terms with their good fortune. It is for this reason that a high percentage of lottery winners subsequently give a proportion of their winnings to charitable causes. But exactly how much of your lottery winnings should you give to charity?
Where Does Your Money Go?
The UK National Lottery organiser (Camelot) takes just 1% of the revenue generated as it’s profit each year. This sounds like quite a tiny proportion until you begin to understand the amount of money that people in the UK spend on the National Lottery each year.
Since the National Lottery began in 1994 an incredible £35 billion has been raised for some 450,000 separate charitable causes. For example, last year (2015) from total ticket sales of nearly £7,300 million…
- £1,800 million was raised for charity and lottery projects
- Just short of £4,000 million was paid out to lottery winners
- £873 million went to the government in duty
- £333 million was earned by retailers
This is roughly divided out as…
- Health, education, the environment and charitable causes – 40%
- Sport – 20%
- The arts – 20%
- National Heritage – 20%
All together we are talking a lot of 0’s here. So many in fact that any money you may wish to donate is barely going to register. The UK National Lottery already, by it’s very nature does more for charity and charitable causes than any other single entity in the UK. By definition of course that means you.
Should You Give More?
So, do you really need to give more? Well, that’s kind of subjective really isn’t it. The overriding human emotion it seems is to share your good fortune with others. It can be argued that this is either a sign of a good Christian upbringing, high moral standards, a sense of community or possibly a mixture of all three.
There are of course always going to be some lottery winners who either because of a sense of entitlement, lack of compassion or simply because it doesn’t even occur to them, who will not give any of their windfall to charity. Working on the basis that Camelot has already done this for them there is no real reason why they should.
Giving to charity should be a very personal thing. My advice would be that if you were lucky enough to win the lottery (any lottery) then look within your own community before distributing your lottery winnings. Small local charities always seem to be way down the list when money is being dished out. Pay a visit perhaps to local children’s hospitals. Are there children there with a disease that requires special medication or drugs? Does your local nursery require new equipment or teaching aids? Does the church where you were married need a new roof? If a new house with a large garden was on your lottery shopping list, maybe you might want to think about also giving a new home to a dog from the local shelter.
As for how much of your lottery winnings you should give. Well, I don’t really think I can say, but be creative and be as generous as you feel, you will be rewarded for it later.
The National Lottery: Helping Projects Around the UK
Watch this little video from the National Lottery about how you’re already helping projects around the UK.