Over 12,000 sport, culture, and recreation groups across Saskatchewan wouldn't be possible without the contributions of Sask Lotteries. Celebrating 50 years, more than $1.4 billion in lottery sales has helped support athletes, artists, and Saskatchewan residents in general with their passions.
“Sask Lotteries funding has touched every community across Saskatchewan during the last 50 years,” said Bill Kinash, Chair, Sask Sport and Sask Lotteries volunteer-led Board of Directors. “Almost everyone I speak to has seen their lives positively impacted by this fundraiser. We cannot wait to see what the next 50 years will bring.”
The Government of Saskatchewan has a long-standing agreement to "direct proceeds from the sale of lottery products to sport, culture and recreation organizations", and have plans in place to celebrate their rich history in the province.
"Throughout 2024, Sask Lotteries will celebrate its rich history in the province and share the stories of the beneficiaries of this fundraiser on its website and social media through winning numbers." stated the release. "Some of these winning numbers include celebrating the 196 Saskatchewan athletes who have attended the Olympic and Paralympic Games since 1976, multiple opportunities for cultural activities create over 1.6 million participants annually and the over 430 regional and community park spaces across the province. The 1,000 retailers across the province will also be celebrated for their part in the lottery sales that help generate the distributed funds."
Sask Lotteries "humble beginning" was instituted as a way to fundraise against the pricey nature of amateur sports. A volunteer-led organization sought out the opportunity, and according to the Sask Lotteries release, shortly after Cas Pielak and Joe Kanuka were granted the lottery license and agreed to sign a promissory note to help start a lottery fundraising program.
The initial lottery in Saskatchewan led to the establishment of the Western Canada Lottery Corporation, and in 1974 the first official funds were put into the Sask Lotteries Trust Fund for the sake of reaching groups as designated by the Government of Saskatchewan.
"This arrangement remains, 50 years later."