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 €9.3 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 third biggest private donor in the world after the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (USA) and the Wellcome Trust (UK). 

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. Half of the price of every ticket sold goes to charity (in 2018, this was €511 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 2018, in the Netherlands, 3.4 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: half of the revenue goes straight to charity. The other half covers prize-money and costs. 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 (2018: 56 charities). Since its start, the lottery has donated €1011.7 Million 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 2 million players of People’s Postcode Lottery, more than £263 Million has been raised for good causes and charities so far and £31 Million of those funds have been distributed to local community projects and programmes since 2009.


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

Muhammad Yunus

Bangladeshi social entrepreneur and
Nobel Peace Prize winner 2006

Katarina Witt

Former figure skating star and
Olympic Gold medalist

Leonardo DiCaprio

Environmental activist and

Richard Branson

founder of the Virgin Group

Desmond Tutu

South African Anglican bishop and Nobel Peace Prize winner

Rafael Nadal

Spanish tennis player with
14 Grand Slam titles

Emma Thompson

Actrice & activist

Tony Blair

former Prime Minister of the
United Kingdom

Ruud Gullit

Dutch football legend

George Clooney

human rights activist and actor

Bill Clinton

42nd President of the United States

Sarah Brown

founder and president
of Theirworld

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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, “developer” and investor in lottery concepts with which successful charity lotteries have been established and implemented worldwide to raise funds for charities. Novamedia asks a licence fee for the use of these brands and formats by third parties. This fee may be used to recoup the high investment required to set up a lottery once a new lottery is able to stand on its own feet. After all, Novamedia bears the financial risks. The fees are also used for the (continued) development of its formats. Novamedia receives these fees from charity lotteries in the Netherlands and abroad. The amount of licence fee differs from country to country, partly depending on the local situation. As the operator, Novamedia is also responsible for managing the lottery in all of these countries. The structure of the organisation, and thus the management fee, differs according to the country.

In Great Britain, the format licence fee of People’s Postcode Lottery is 4% of the revenue of the lottery. Management support provided by Novamedia is recharged, to a maximum of 1% of People’s Postcode Lottery revenue.

For the Dutch lotteries working with Novamedia’s brands and formats, the percentage of the licence fee is 2.2% of the lottery’s revenue. In the Netherlands, Novamedia receives a fixed, index-linked annual fee for managing the three lotteries. This was €863,000 in 2018. Novamedia also guarantees the obligation of the three lotteries to pay out 50% of the revenue from ticket sales to the charities. Unforeseen financial setbacks leaving less than 50% of the revenue available for charities have to be covered by Novamedia. The combined licence and administration fee of the Swedish Postcode Lottery is 4.08% of the revenue. Once it is possible, the German Postcode Lottery will pay a licence fee of 3%.

In 2012, F.W. Grosheide, Emeritus Professor of Private Law/Intellectual Property Law (for the Netherlands, at the request of the Dutch Postcode Lottery) and in 2014 Jan Rosén, Professor of Private Law at the University of Stockholm (for Sweden, at the request of Novamedia) were asked to give an opinion on the market conformity of fees in the Netherlands and Sweden. Both concluded that the percentages are comparatively low. This was also the conclusion reached by the accountancy firm KPMG in 2013 in a study in the Netherlands commissioned by the Dutch Gaming Authority.