New scratchcard lotto to launch in France to help biodiversity

The new game will raise millions of euros for nature charities

The new scratchcard will be sold in tobacconists throughout the country
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A new scratchcard is being launched to raise funds to protect French wildlife and increase awareness about the challenges it faces.

The new Loto de la biodiversité, or biodiversity lotto, will let lucky punters win up to €30,000 for the price of a €3 scratchcard. For each one sold, 43 cents goes straight to the Office français de la biodiversité, or OFB.

The scratchcard, which launches on October 23, will be available for purchase at tobacconists across the country.

Read more: 14 things you can do at a tabac in France apart from buy cigarettes

The idea draws inspiration from France’s Loto du patrimoine, or Heritage lotto, which over five years has raised €125m for French heritage sites. In total, the Loto du patrimoine has helped finance 745 sites around France.

Read more: France's Heritage Loto tickets go on sale

How will the biodiversity lotto work?

With a total of 15m scratchcards up for grabs, the lotto is hoped to raise €6.45m in short shrift.

The OFB will then distribute this money between nature charities that present deserving projects.

There are already over 60 charities vying for grants from the new fund, including international and national behemoths such as the WWF and the Ligue de protection des oiseaux, alongside many smaller local projects.

A committee chaired by State Secretary for Biodiversity Sarah El Haïry will decide which projects are the most deserving of the grant money, which is expected to range from €50,000 to €1m.

The projects selected for grants will be announced on October 18.

‘Raising awareness’

The €6m target is of course a drop in the ocean in terms of the cost of ecological protection- the Ligue de protection des oiseaux alone has an annual budget of €33m.

However, Mme El Haïry says the aim is also to spread awareness about the challenges faced by French biodiversity.

“This operation aims to make as many people as possible aware of the challenges involved in protecting and restoring natural habitats,” she told 20 Minutes.

“It’s just one tool among others, we need to make the question of biodiversity more accessible,” she said. “We hope that this edition of the Loto de la biodiversité will be the first of many.”

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