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Sask Lotteries celebrates 50 years of supporting sport, culture and recreation

Sask Lotteries is celebrating 50 years as the main fundraiser for more than 12,000 sport, culture and recreation groups in communities across Saskatchewan.

Since 1974, lottery sales in Saskatchewan have been used to provide more than $1.4 billion to support athletes from the grassroots level to the international stage, connect youth to artistic experiences, help residents experience the beauty of the parks that cover the province and much more.  

The funding is made possible thanks to a long-standing agreement with the Government of Saskatchewan to direct proceeds from the sale of lottery products to sport, culture and recreation organizations.

“Sask Lotteries funding has touched every community across Saskatchewan during the last 50 years,” said Bill Kinash, Chair, Sask Sport and Sask Lotteries volunteer-led Board of Directors. “Almost everyone I speak to has seen their lives positively impacted by this fundraiser. We cannot wait to see what the next 50 years will bring.”

Throughout 2024, Sask Lotteries will celebrate its rich history in the province and share the stories of the beneficiaries of this fundraiser on its website and social media through winning numbers. Some of these winning numbers include celebrating the 196 Saskatchewan athletes who have attended the Olympic and Paralympic Games since 1976, multiple opportunities for cultural activities create over 1.6 million participants annually and the over 430 regional and community park spaces across the province. The 1,000 retailers across the province will also be celebrated for their part in the lottery sales that help generate the distributed funds.

Sask Lotteries has a humble beginning.  

To help fundraise against the rising costs of amateur sport, Sask Sport, a volunteer-led organization, wanted to run a lottery. To be granted the lottery licence by the Government of Saskatchewan, founding volunteers Cas Pielak and Joe Kanuka agreed to sign a promissory note to help start a lottery fundraising program. The first lottery in Saskatchewan was a success and eventually led to the Western Canada Lottery Corporation being established.  In 1974, it was determined that the funds would be placed into the Sask Lotteries Trust Fund and would be distributed to sport, culture and recreation groups as designated by the Government of Saskatchewan.

This arrangement remains, 50 years later.

Learn more about lottery beneficiaries, as well as games, jackpots, winning numbers and more at sasklotteries.ca.