Gamble Green!

While a Scottish couple has just won Europe’s largest ever jackpot of GBP 161 million at the Euromillions, a lesser known lottery scheme has been emerging alongside: The Carbon Lottery.

What is the Carbon Lottery and how does it work?

The Carbon Lottery is just like any other lottery game, where players have to pick six numbers out of 49 for winning the weekly jackpot of EUR 4 million (GBP 3.5 million). Participants should select the numbers online at http://www.thecarbonlottery.com, for only GBP 2 – just like playing for the Euromillions. There is however an add-on.

Why is it green?

Each ‘lottery ticket’ offsets 100 kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions, thus lowering one’s carbon footprint.

More than half of the price of the tickets goes to the prize pool but a significant ratio is used to buy carbon offset credits by the Voluntary Offset Fund (operating in the frame of the Carbon Lottery scheme) linked to each ticket. This means that while hoping to become a multi-millionaire, green-minded players also lower global carbon dioxide emissions and support various projects all over the world, amongst others a wind farm in Turkey, a geothermal development in Guatemala or a biogas facility in Thailand.

As a helpful tool for assessing one’s carbon footprint, each country has a listed average emission, and players only have to select where they are from to know how many carbon lottery tickets it is equal to. For those who want a more accurate measure, a detailed calculator is also available counting based on their personal living, travelling and eating habits.

The Carbon Lottery was launched in April 2011 and currently only operates in the UK with the draw broadcast on the website and YouTube from Malta. After a successful initial period it may be extended to other European countries.

At the time of writing the Carbon Lottery has offset 2109 tonnes of carbon dioxide – the same as the annual emissions of two hundred average people living in the UK.

Written for Energy Saving Warehouse

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