The Irish Hospitals Sweepstakes was set up in 1930 to help fund Irish hospitals through a series of regular sweepstakes. Ireland had only just started to recover from the effects of the 1916 war of independence and the civil war that followed. It’s infrastructure was in tatters so any source of funding, even the questionable sort, was welcomed.

Ireland’s small population meant that the sweepstakes wouldn’t be worthwhile if the tickets were only sold within the nation, so the organizers went global. They sold tickets wherever they could, ignoring local laws about gambling along the way.

But for the organizers it was worth it as they made themselves very rich, whereas the hospitals only got a fraction of the takings.

source

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