New Kerala lottery to benefit ex-servicemen

Last Updated: Tue, Nov 06, 2012 14:20 hrs

Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 6 (IANS) The Kerala government Tuesday launched an exclusive lottery for ex-Servicemen, and the entire revenue generated from it will be handed over to the Flag Day Fund for their welfare, a Kerala minister Tuesday announced.

State Finance Minister K.M. Mani, in a press release here, said the lottery proceeds that will be transferred to the fund would be used for the needs of all ex-servicemen in the state who are members of the Sainik Welfare Board.

"The ticket will be priced at Rs.100 and the total prize money would be Rs. 9.12 crore, with a first prize of Rs.2 crore plus 101 sovereigns of gold. The date of draw would be Jan 4 next year. 3.5 million tickets will be printed for sale," Mani said.

Soon after the present Oommen Chandy government assumed office in May 2011, the government launched the "Karunya" Lottery. Revenue from it has been used to meet the medical expenses of the state's poor.

Since its launch, that lottery has generated Rs.18 crore, and benefited more than 2,200 poor patients since August 2011.

The state has a lotteries department, which functions under the taxes department.

Today, there are more than 35,000 authorised agents and over 1,00,000 retail sellers of lottery tickets.

Incidentally, it was Kerala which led the country by launching the sale of lottery tickets in 1967, with a first prize of Rs.50,000 and the ticket priced at Re. one.

After liquor selling excise department, the lottery department is the second-largest revenue earner for the government. This fiscal, proceeds from the sale of lottery tickets are expected to cross Rs.2,300 crore. Last year's lottery sales netted Rs.1,280 crore.

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