Where is the ‘National Lottery Good Causes’ Money Being Spent?

Winning the lottery is a dream for many but one which typically stays in the realm of unreality, save for the one in 14 million players who holds a lucky winning ticket. For organisations within the National Lottery’s Five Good Causes sectors though, being on the receiving end of the National Lottery’s benevolence holds significantly better odds.

The Five Good Causes sectors are arts, charities, heritage, Millennium projects and sports. The National Lottery, which launched in 1994, also added a further three Good Causes to the list in 1998: health, education and environment. Altogether, the eight sectors have benefited from over £22billion since the initiative was established in the early nineties.

Such impressive figures come directly from the lottery players themselves, with 70 per cent of all adults playing the lottery regularly, raising in excess of £25million each week for Good Causes. With such significant profits, you might consider where Lottery cash is spent and who benefits from the multi-billion pound revenue generated every year by Camelot, the National Lottery operator.

In fact, the National Lottery in the UK returns as much as they receive from the public to public-interest Good Causes, with a higher proportion of Lottery revenue spent on society than any other Lottery-playing nation, worldwide.

In total, 317,000 grants, over half of which have been for under £5,000 each, have been awarded to Good Causes across the eight benefiting sectors since 1994. Good causes in receipt of Lottery funding include the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games, which will receive £2.2billion.

National Lottery Good Causes funding is actively distributed by numerous stakeholders and individual councils for initiatives across all eight sectors throughout the UK and Northern Ireland. These include Arts Council England, Heritage Lottery Fund, UK Film Council, Scottish Screen and UK Sport.

Once Lottery funding reaches the communities it aims to benefit, you could discover that Good Causes grants support anything from coaching masterclasses and group sessions, to press campaigns, to promoting sporting talent across the UK. Good causes grants also fund venues across the UK from financing refurbishments to providing grants to enable new artistic collections to be bought or commissioned.

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US Lottery Jackpots: Lump Sum Cash Payouts Versus Annuity Payments

In the US, lotteries are run by 47 jurisdictions-44 states plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Most of these states run their in-state lottery games, but Powerball and Mega Millions lotteries are quite popular games in all the jurisdictions that continue to draw huge interest. Their jackpots are vast with billions of dollars in profits being raised directly from these lottery games. Lottery games are a valuable contribution to states’ incomes and they are funding everything from health and welfare to education. The popularity of Powerball and Mega Millions is because they are pretty much always quick to roll over into the $100 million-plus range as such attracting more and more players willing to take their chance with the games.

Unlike European lottery jackpots which are generally tax-free (with the lottery games themselves taxed in other ways) and jackpots are paid in lump sums, the lottery wins in the US are taxed and jackpots are made out in annuity payments. If you are a jackpot winner and you choose to receive lump sum cash payout rather than the extended payout (which most jackpot winners do) you typically receive around half the headline amount, much less money than the advertised jackpot value. If you choose the extended payout, the state takes the present cash value of the jackpot and buys annuity or bonds that will generate interest to fund the future payments made at fixed intervals of time thus providing you with a steady stream of income for many years going forward over a span of 25 to 30 years. For example, if you won a $14 million jackpot in the multi-state Powerball lottery game, you could take $538,461 a year for 26 years and get the entire $14 million, or accept a lump sum of $8,120,000, equal to 58 percent of the $14 million won. The state lotteries guarantee that if a jackpot winner who has chosen the annuity extended payout dies, his heirs will get all of the remaining installments. Prizes for various other lottery games are also taxed in most US States.

Gambling Losses are Tax Deductible

If you do spend a significant amount of money on the lottery in a year, your old tickets might be worth cash to you. Gambling losses are tax deductible, but only to the extent of your winnings. This requires you to report all the money you win as taxable income on your return. However, the deduction for your losses is only available if you are eligible to itemize your deductions. If you claim the standard deduction, then you can’t reduce your tax by your gambling losses. The IRS says you cannot offset losses against winnings and report the difference. For example, if you spend, say, $1,600 a year on tickets and wins only $600, you must report the $600 even though your losses amounted to $1,000. According to the tax rules, if you have gambling losses, you can claim them as an itemized deduction, but you cannot deduct more than the winnings reported. So if you itemize your deductions, you can take only $600 as an itemized loss on schedule A.

On the other hand, if you spend $600 and win $1,600, you also must report the $1,600. But if you itemize, you can claim the entire $600 as a loss on schedule A since you are allowed to report any losses up to $1,600. Documentation you should have to prove your losses can include Form W-2G, Form 5754, wagering tickets, canceled checks or credit records and receipts from the gambling facility. Ironically, this law helps winners more than it helps losers. So think positively. Think like a winner, and save those old tickets.

Be the Smart Player

You have to be smart with your play and learn more about lottery games. Get information about new games (online and instant), prizes remaining on instant games, and special winning numbers-that way you will know what lottery games with better odds you should participate in. For example, 6 from 49 Lotto winning probability is 1 in 13,983,816, which is 10 times luckier than Mega Millions. Some in-State lottery games even offer second chance lottery draws. Find out about the second chance lottery draws and take your second chance with them by registering any qualifying scratcher codes and entries from scratch games you have previously purchased.

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Why Winning The Lottery Won’t Make You Happy

Here’s a question for you, what would really make you happy? Is it that new car you’ve always wanted, a big house, a beautiful spouse or as many people would answer, all the money you could ever want.

Many people think that just by having enough money to buy whatever they want can lead to happiness. Have you ever read those stories about lottery winners winning a huge jackpot wishing they had never won the lottery? Well, it might sound ridiculous to us but having so much money made their lives worse.

Here are a few reasons on just why winning the lottery won’t make you happy.

1. Same Thoughts Different Circumstances

The huge increase to your bank account has allowed you to buy whatever you desire. So, picture yourself sitting in your large mansion in front of your 100″ Plasma TV drinking one of the finest wines that has ever existed. What a difference to this time last week you may say. However, there is one thing that hasn’t changed, your thoughts.

Your thoughts are the only thing that can affect how you feel and ultimately your happiness. Unfortunately money will not change this.

The truth is that if you were an unhappy person before winning the lottery then chances are that you will still be unhappy after your big win.

2. An Unhealthy Lifestyle

Money can allow people to throw some of the best parties around and live a life of decadence. This means that there is a wealth of opportunities to drink more and smoke more. Lottery winners often end up having worse lifestyles than before and end up with long term health problems.

The “lucky” winners suddenly have more money to spend on things which they may have liked to indulge in only occasionally before their win such as alcohol, cigarettes and gambling. They also believe that they can pay their way out of any health problems by seeing the best doctors. Unfortunately, this does not hold true.

3. Money Makes People Look at You Differently

People you have known your whole life will suddenly start to see you as their meal ticket. If you start saying yes to some people and no to others, a lot of people will start to resent you.

Not only this, but due to your new found wealth people will always expect more and more money just because you can afford to give it to them. When you have money, it starts to become very hard to say no to people.

4. Where’s the Drive?

Most people like to have a reason to get up in the morning and feel like they are achieving something in their day. All of a sudden you find that you can sleep in until midday everyday and spend the day however you see fit.

However, while this may sound great in reality it is not. Sudden wealth means a loss of ambition and drive. I’m finally a millionaire so now what? a lottery winner may ask. Boredom at times can be a good thing and can provide the catalyst for many creative endeavours, but more often than not, it can also lead to a slippey slope when you have so much money.

5. You Feel As If You Don’t Deserve the Money

Let’s face it lottery winners get extremely lucky to win the jackpot. The odds are an astronomical 1 in 116 million depending on which game you play. They didn’t exactly have to suffer through blood, sweat and tears for that £1 ticket. This is why a third of lottery winners end up squandering all of their money after 5 years.

A person who has built up a successful company over the years through nothing but hard work and determination tends to invest the money wisely. They worked so hard for it so inevitably they want to look after it. This is their reward for all the years of sacrifice. A lottery winner on the other hand, subconsciously sees this money as something they never really deserved so they will tend to squander it all living the good life for a few years.

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