Novamedia is a fine example of an area in which the Netherlands excels: innovation with a worldwide impact.

Novamedia is the founder and (intellectual property) owner of the successful formats of the Dutch Postcode Lottery, the BankGiro Lottery and the FriendsLottery, and of the Postcode Lotteries in Sweden, Germany, Norway and Great Britain.

The Dutch Postcode Lottery (Nationale Postcode Loterij) was launched in 1989 to raise money for charity organisations that work to create a fairer, greener world.

In 2005, the success of the Postcode Lottery in the Netherlands prompted Novamedia to launch two more lotteries abroad – the Svenska PostkodLotteriet in Sweden and the People’s Postcode Lottery in Great Britain. In 2016, the Deutsche Postcode Lotterie launched throughout Germany. In 2018 the Norsk Postkodelotteri was launched in Norway.

In the Netherlands Novamedia operates two other lotteries besides the Postcode Lottery: The FriendsLottery and the BankGiro Lottery, launched in 1998 and 2002 respectively. The three lotteries share the same parent company (Holding Nationale Goede Doelen Loterijen NV).

Since the beginning, Novamedia’s charity lotteries have donated over €10 billion to thousands of charities and projects all over the world. This has made Novamedia and the charity lotteries over the past five years the second biggest private donor in the world after the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (USA). 

The Netherlands

The Dutch Postcode Lottery, the BankGiro Lottery and the FriendsLottery

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The Dutch Postcode Lottery, the BankGiro Lottery and the FriendsLottery were established to raise funds for charities. At least 40% of the price of every ticket sold (in 2019, this was more than €522 million). The Dutch Postcode Lottery supports people and planet, the BankGiro Lottery supports culture and the preservation of cultural heritage in the Netherlands and the FriendsLottery supports social initiatives (charities, clubs and associations) that focus on health and well-being, also through sport.

At the end of 2019, in the Netherlands, 3.7 million households were playing the Charity Lotteries. At an average of 1.7 tickets per household, that makes more than 5.9 million tickets per month bought for the three Charity Lotteries.

The Dutch Charity Lotteries are non-profit organisations: after prizes and organisational costs, all the revenues go straight to charity. The three lotteries come under the holding company Nationale Goede Doelen Loterijen N.V.


Svenska Postkodlotteriet

logos 11The Swedish Postcode Lottery started in 2005, following three years of preparation. It has grown rapidly since 2006 and donates approximately 30 % of its income to about 50 charities (2019: 57 charities). Since its start, the lottery has donated €1.2 Billion to charities and their projects at home and abroad. According to the Swedish Gambling Authority, the Swedish Postcode Lottery is the largest charity lottery in Sweden considering both terms of turnover and contribution to charities.

The total investment on the part of Novamedia was € 28 Million. The current number of tickets in use (end of 2018) is more than 1.7 million.

Great Britain

People’s Postcode Lottery

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People's Postcode Lottery was first piloted in the north of England in 2005. Three years later, in 2008, it was launched in Scotland and since 2010 it has been operating throughout Great Britain.

People’s Postcode Lottery supports charities across Great Britain and internationally. Thanks to over 3.4 million players of People’s Postcode Lottery, more than £500 Million has been raised for good causes and charities.


dplDeutsche Postcode Lotterie

The German Postcode Lottery was launched across Germany in the summer of 2016. The first draw took place in October 2016. The lottery supports charities in Germany by donating 30% of the funds it raises proportionate to the number of participants in each federal state. Novamedia is carrying all the risks and expenses associated with getting this charity lottery off the ground.

The charity lottery permit is governed by numerous obligations and restrictions in relation to national lotteries in the federal states of Germany. Examples of what this involves include the limited size of the main prize (max. €2 Million), restrictions on the costs incurred and the high lottery tax level on the funds raised (16.67%), a minimum contribution towards charity (30%), rules governing proportionate donations according to the number of participants in each federal state, conditions governing the organisations able to receive donations in Germany, and the permit’s term of validity. Subject to these strict conditions and restrictions, the German Postcode Lottery will try to raise as much money as possible for charities in Germany.


dplNorsk Postkodelotteri

The Norwegian Postcode Lottery was launched in Norway in October 2018. The lottery supports SOS-barnebyer and WWF Norge by donating 50% of its turn-over after paid out prizes. 

The license comes with very clear demands regarding turn-over and marketing; the turnover is limited to MNOK 300 on a yearly basis and the marketing investments are limited to 15 percent of the turnover after paid out prizes. Only 125 000 subscriptions to the Lottery are available.

The Norwegian lottery market was re-regulated in 2015 and five licenses were made available for charity lotteries. This made it possible for the Postcode Lottery to enter the market. The licenses are valid for nine years and one of them is held by SOS-barnebyer and WWF Norway. This gives them the right to market Postcode Lottery in Norway.

Raise funds for social organisations and increase awareness of their work


There is no change without them.

We set up charity lotteries to provide financial support for social organisations worldwide and raise awareness of their work through television programmes, print and internet. Novamedia is the inventor and owner of various lottery formats and brands that are operated in The Netherlands, Sweden, Great Brittain, Germany and Norway.


We’re proud that international well-known personalities work with us and support our mission and the charity lotteries we operate.

See all our goodwill ambassadors

George Clooney

human rights activist and actor

Richard Branson

founder of the Virgin Group

Rafael Nadal

Spanish tennis player with
19 Grand Slam titles

Sarah Brown

founder and president
of Theirworld

Tony Blair

former Prime Minister of the
United Kingdom

Bill Clinton

42nd President of the United States

Ruud Gullit

Dutch football legend

Katarina Witt

Former figure skating star and
Olympic Gold medalist

Leonardo DiCaprio

Environmental activist and

Emma Thompson

Actrice & activist

Muhammad Yunus

Bangladeshi social entrepreneur and
Nobel Peace Prize winner 2006

Desmond Tutu

South African Anglican bishop and Nobel Peace Prize winner

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JV NPL Doutzen KroesThese charities always win the lottery

Our lotteries each have dedicated Charity Departments which maintain intensive contact with our affiliated charity organisations and make agreements, conduct evaluations and make payments.



acleuLotteries in Europe

All charity lotteries of Novamedia are a member of the Association of Charity Lotteries in the Europe (ACLEU). This association represents the interests of charity lotteries and their beneficiaries in the European countries. ACLEU wants to give a voice to charity lotteries in the European debate and wants to increase awareness for the charity lottery model that has already been proven to be successful in the Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, the UK, Denmark, Spain and Ireland. Fundraising by lotteries should be promoted from ‘ancillary effect of gambling’ to main objective of lottery legislation in all European counties.

For more information, see:

The Postcode Lottery format in a nutshell

Key elements

Novamedia is the owner, creator and investor in lottery formats. It has set up several succesful charity lotteries in different European countries thereby raising funds for charitities worldwide. The costs of setting up the existing lotteries was borne completely by Novamedia. All Postcode Loteries are operated by Novamedia and are granted a license from Novamedia to use Novamedia’s IP rights and trade secrets. In order to recoup Novamedia’s investment and to enable Novamedia to set up new charity lotteries, Novamedia charges a royalty fee for the licence and a fee to cover the actual costs made for management of the lottery.