The Loto du Patrimoine starts launched on Monday in France, with the intention of raising millions of euro to protect key heritage sites across the country.
The first draw will take place on September 14, the eve of the Journées du Patrimoine heritage weekend, when thousands of properties will open their doors to an expected 12million visitors. The jackpot will be €13million.
The loto fund has been organised by TV presenter Stéphane Bern with the support of President Macron who helped choose 18 sites that need urgent work – one from each region in mainland France and overseas. Another 251 will also receive some aid.
The 18 include the house of the travelling writer Pierre Loti in Rochefort (Charente-Maritime), which has been due for extensive renovation for the past five years; Fort-Cigogne in Finistère; the villa Viardot in Bougival, Yvelines, that was once home to Russian writer Ivan Tourgueniev, and the house of Aimé Césaire in Fort-de-France, Martinique.
Each one is set to benefit to the tune of between €100,000 and €1m from sales of the €3-a-grid tickets and scratchcards, which are expected to earn some €20million.
A second lottery draw will take place next year, and will help a new set of historical sites.
Meanwhile, a 'Heritage Mission' scratchcard will be available for the next four to six months at nearly 31,000 La Française des Jeux points of sale, as well as online and at key heritage sites.
In total, 12million scratchcards will go on sale, at €15 each, with a maximum prize of €1.5million. Players will have one chance in three to win at least the cost of their ticket back.
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