Lotteries

French lottery raises funds for heritage restorations

euro symbol against sky

A French lottery held last week has successfully raised millions of euros that will be used to pay for the restoration of hundreds of French sites of architectural heritage interest.

Loto du Patrimonie was organised by French historian and television presenter Stephane Bern, who was inspired by the National Lottery in the UK, which sets asides funds for heritage and restoration every year. Bern originally approached then-Presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron last year, who gave the idea his blessing.

The Loto is made up of two games. There are annual prize draw tickets which sell at €3 and offer the chance to win a jackpot of €13 million. In addition, there is an ongoing scratch-card game, which costs €15 a time. Those who buy a ticket stand a one-in-three chance of winning their money back, while big winners can scoop up to €1.5m. Ten percent of the ticket sales go to the restoration fund.

Emblematic

The first draw for the lottery took place on Friday and it has been reported that the total raised is between €15-20 million. The money will be used to pay for the restoration of 269 French heritage sites that are considered to be endangered. The list of 269 was produced from an original shortlist of 2,000 buildings, through a public consultation. Eighteen sites, considered to be ‘emblematic’ will take priority and will be the first to receive lottery funds to begin restoration.

Among the sites to benefit are the home of traveller Pierre Loti in Rochefort, the Roman Gier aqueduct, the medieval Notre Dame church in Celle-Guenand, and the Théâtre des Bleus in Bar-le-Duc, along with Carneville Castle, on the English Channel.

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