Irish Sweepstakes: a scandal never to be allowed to happen again

Stories that appeal to human emotions and tug at the heartstrings will always sell. Check reviews of online lottery sites at Despite the seeming indifference of the world, an article that talks of a baby being abandoned or abused, or an animal being mistreated, will surely attract the attention, sympathy and, in most cases, vigilant action from the reading public. And when people allow their emotions to lead the mind in making decisions, the potential for being abused or exploited is higher.

Such seems to be the case with the exposed scandal on the Irish sweepstakes. It may have happened decades ago, but it has definitely left its mark on the minds of those who have been made aware, manage your funds with premium bonds.

We go back in time to 1930 when the Irish government felt it had better use for its resources than spending it on the public health care system. Thus, a sweepstakes lottery that purported to allocate its proceeds to said system seemed to be a great idea to win the lottery odds. Three enterprising residents saw the potential of the whole system, unfortunately not so much for the benefit it would bring the public but as an opportunity to enrich themselves and their associates.

The idea that the Irish sweepstakes was benefiting the Irish society was constantly drummed into the minds of the public. Thus, you had the spectacle of blind school boys drawing the first ever winning tickets, to emphasize that there could not be any rigging or fraud as they were blind after all. Subsequent drawings constantly featured both the local police and medical personnel such as nurses - for if you cannot trust your public servants, then who can you trust? Granting their intentions might have been truly noble and their participation might have been genuine, but they turned out to be but bit parts of a bigger picture, a picture that was nowhere near as noble or worthy as it was set out to be.

The exposure of this can of worms began in 1973. It was found out that the hospitals were in fact getting less than 10% of the ticket sales proceeds or choose scratch cards. Enormous amounts could be left unaccounted for, just by declaring them as expenses. Illegal sales of tickets across the continent happened, and the money never even reached Irish soil. There were stories of too lavish lifestyles of the middlemen, as well as fraudulent activities at the upper levels of the organization. And the people in power turned a blind eye in exchange for economic and political support.

The Irish sweepstakes was not all bad, however. Its financial contribution was in fact instrumental in eradicating TB. However, the bad outweighed the good, and society has been tainted since.