The Irish National Lottery donates almost €0.30 from every €1 spent on tickets to good causes. Since the lottery was launched in 1987, it has raised more than €5.5 billion for worthy projects in several core areas. Learn more about how National Lottery funding has helped good causes across Ireland.
Regardless of which game you play – Lotto, EuroMillions, Daily Million, Telly Bingo or even a Scratch Card – just under a third of the money you spend is given to the Irish Exchequer for distribution to good causes. The rest is divided between prize money for players, commission for retailers and operational expenses.
- More than €5.5 billion raised since 1987
- Around €620,000 goes to good causes every day
- 4,000 groups and organisations funded each year
- More than €220 million raised per year
The primary goal of the lottery is to support community projects across the Republic of Ireland. Government departments oversee how the funds are spent in the following areas.
- Sports - Grants are provided by the Sports Capital Programme, which is run by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.
- Arts - The Arts Council of Ireland oversees the distribution of these funds.
- Heritage - The Heritage Council of Ireland is responsible for preserving Ireland’s rich cultural history and natural environment.
- Youth – The Department of Children and Youth Affairs provides funds to help initiatives supporting young people.
- Health – The Department of Health decides which projects will receive financial support.
- Community – Schemes to benefit local communities are administered by the Department of Planning.
- Irish Language – The Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht funds the promotion of the Irish language.
Projects that have received lottery funding in Ireland
Anyone can apply for funding by contacting the relevant government department. Approximately 4,000 organisations and groups receive funding each year, from small community projects to elite athletes who are preparing for the next Olympics. Here are just a few of the beneficiaries of National Lottery funding.
Monaghan Special Olympics - This is a club which provides opportunities for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. National Lottery funding has assisted the club in running training sessions and competitions throughout the year, helping members to develop their fitness, forge friendships and experience joyous moments together.
Liquid Therapy – Liquid Therapy is a not-for-profit foundation based in Donegal. It supports young people with physical, emotional, behavioural or intellectual needs by providing an environment which allows them to experience all the benefits of surf, play and water therapy. Named the Irish National Lottery’s Good Cause of the Year in 2019, Liquid Therapy used its funding to provide surfboards and bodysuits to more members.
Galway Community Circus – Promoting inclusivity, the Galway Community Circus is a circus for everyone. The idea is to give opportunities to local youngsters, supporting their physical, mental and social wellbeing regardless of ability or disability, using circus activities to unlock hidden talents.
Bere Island Projects Group – Working tirelessly to preserve the rich heritage of Bere Island, off the coast of County Cork, the Bere Island Projects Group (BIPG) has been in existence since 1987. The group has helped to create employment and sustained the island’s population, whilst also restoring Lonehort Battery as a visitor attraction.
Involve – A youth project based in Donegal, the goal of Involve is to support the region’s Traveller Community. It provides programmes and services so that society will include the Traveller Community more widely.
Irish Guide Dogs – This is a national charity with branches in different areas of Ireland, which supports people who are blind or have impaired vision. Lottery funding has helped the organisation to train dogs so that they can establish long-lasting partnerships with people who need them, including children with autism and their families.
Spinal Injuries Ireland - A support agency for people who have sustained a spinal cord injury, Spinal Injuries Ireland (SII) is focused on providing as much help as possible so that the injured can continue to lead full lives. The organisation helps people to work towards personal, social and vocational goals and also supports the families of those who have suffered a spinal injury.
Feachtas Óg-Ghluaiseacht na Gaeilge – The mission of Feachtas Óg-Ghluaiseacht na Gaeilge is to promote the Irish language to young people and encourage them to be confident, active and proud of the language. By organising trips and activities, the group provides a safe space for Irish speakers to mix and use their language outside of school.