The National Intangible Cultural Heritage Inventory for the Netherlands has been expanded to include the tradition of charity lotteries, the biggest of which are the Dutch Postcode Lottery, the BankGiro Lottery and the FriendsLottery. Novamedia is the creator and owner of various brands and lottery formats, including the Postcode Lottery. In the Netherlands Novamedia operates two other lotteries besides the Postcode Lottery: The FriendsLottery and the BankGiro Lottery.


Other examples of charity lotteries in the Netherlands include the Jantje Beton Lottery, the Grote Clubactie (Big Club Action) and the Dutch Zonnebloem Lottery. ‘Goede Doelen Nederland’ (Dutch Charities), the umbrella organisation for recognised charities, nominated the charity lotteries for inclusion in the inventory.

The charity lotteries (Dutch Postcode Lottery, BankGiro Lottery, FriendsLottery) raise money by donating half the price of each ticket purchased to charity. CEO of Novamedia and chairman of the boards of these charity lotteries and co-founder of the Postcode Lottery, Boudewijn Poelmann: “Including the tradition of the charity lottery in this list serves to underscores the immense social significance of this Dutch tradition. We need to preserve this for future generations.”


Charity lotteries have a long-standing tradition of selling lottery tickets to raise money for charitable causes in the Netherlands. The first ‘Generaliteitsloterij’ took place in 1729 with the aim of raising money to serve public interests. Joining a lottery to win while at the same time donating money towards creating a better world is indeed a powerful combination.

The national inventory stems from the Netherlands signing the ‘UNESCO Convention Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage’ in 2012.