4 sustainable ways to play the lottery

We often get swept up in the hysteria of a colossal jackpot and forget the good work lotteries do with the money they raise. Dating back to the Han Dynasty, state lotteries existed to fund and improve the land on which we live — a sentiment still felt today.

Sustainable ways to play the lottery

To fight the good fight, we players can learn to play this loveable game of luck with purpose and sustainably at the forefront of our minds. Read on to find out how.

1. Play online and avoid paper tickets

There is a lot of paper wastage in the lottery industry. In fact, a study found on ResearchGate reports paper waste at lottery centers amounts to nearly 8kg per week, with just one automated teller machine capable of contributing at least 1kg of paper waste a day.

With this in mind, you could consider buying your lottery tickets online instead of a physical store. Why? Because it allows you to go paperless and reduce your impact on the environment, plus it’s more convenient, meaning you rarely miss a draw. Using these websites, you can play and check winning numbers on a range of popular international (and local) lotteries from cash4life to the USA Mega Millions.

2. Play a lottery that takes green issues seriously

Major lotteries can make a few lucky people millionaires, but work behind the scenes helps support and fund a myriad of good causes. For instance, The National Lottery — a state franchised lottery based in the United Kingdom — uses its community fund to support a range of projects, including sports, arts, and health. The environmental sector also receives a substantial contribution, with £100 million ($137 million) set aside for climate action.

When playing the lottery, your money helps contribute to the good work of these organizations. Do your research and select a game with a reputation for taking green issues seriously. In return for a chance at the jackpot, your entry helps create a brighter future.

3. Play local lotteries to support your community

Big lotteries think about the big picture, but local lotteries help support your immediate community. The People’s Postcode Lottery, for instance, helps fund charities and good causes in every postcode in Britain.

It also has a tradition of supporting green initiatives by launching the Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge in 2007. Now on its 15th edition of the challenge, this competition exists to promote entrepreneurs and startups in your area working towards a more sustainable planet.

4. Play the lottery for fun (and in moderation)

The odds of winning the lottery are slim to none. For example, odds for winning the jackpot in a multinational game like MegaMillions have been known to be around one in 302.5 million, which according to Save The Student is less likely than being struck by lightning.

As with any form of gambling, you should play for fun, not to win. This means measuring your expectations and purchasing tickets in moderation. There is nothing wrong with playing the lottery to indulge in a brief fantasy. But whether we’re talking superstition or blind optimism, spending a small fortune on the lottery isn’t a sustainable use of your money.

Lotteries don’t just make millionaires, they support good causes too. From playing online to playing for fun — this is how to play the game of luck with purpose and sustainability in mind.