Love, Light, and the Lottery
A man walks into a financial consultant's office and asks, "What's the fastest way to become a millionaire?" The consultant replies, "Buy a lottery ticket." While this might be a joke in the financial world, it also reflects part of the reason behind the popularity of the lottery in Taiwan. On average, 32 Taiwanese residents strike the jackpot in the lottery each year, and whenever there is a rollover, lottery stores across the island blow up in popularity when everyone goes chasing their champagne wishes and caviar dreams. Off in the dark corners of society, the dreams of many hinge on those tickets somehow paying off.
As the lunar year winds up and a mass of cold air covers the island, 81-year-old Mr. Zhang, who lives alone, worries about Chinese New Year. He may be cold, and he may be poor, but worse still is the prospect of being alone while others celebrate the New Year's festivities. Just as Zhang is wallowing in sadness, the doorbell rings. It is a volunteer from the Home Services Program who has come to visit and invite him to a reunion dinner on New Year's Eve.
The Home Services Program is built around a website created by the Federation for the Welfare of the Elderly. The site brings together homecare resources from around Taiwan, and since its establishment in 2010, it has helped thousands of elderly people. Behind the scenes, the program relies not only on ordinary donations, but also on money provided by Taiwan Lottery's public welfare lottery.
"For every NT$100 spent on lottery tickets in Taiwan," says Taiwan Lottery Company chairman Steve Hsieh, "NT$26.75 is used for the public good." Since the public welfare lottery began in 1999, over NT$280 billion of lottery profits have been donated, making the lottery one of Taiwan's main contributors to social welfare efforts.
居家服务平台是由老人福利推动联盟所架设的网站。它整合了台湾各地的照护资源，自 2010 年成立以来，该网站已帮助了数以千计的长者。在背后支持老人福利联盟的，除了一般各界的捐款，还有来自公益彩券的爱心善款。
台湾彩券公司董事长薛香川指出：『国内各种彩券每售出一百元，便有二十六点七五元会投入公益之用。』公益彩券自 1999 年发行至今，盈余投入公益已经超过新台币两千八百亿元，使得公益彩券已成为台湾社会福利的重要推手之一。