Lotteries can be a great force for good. In the developing world, specifically, money from local lotteries can be used to augment spending on local infrastructure — millions of people ‘having a flutter’ can be a hospital or a school. The problem is that national or local government officials administer many lotteries in third world countries and corruption in these environments can be a big problem. How can we ensure the money from lotteries is being spent in the right way?
The administrator of the lottery could use a blockchain based application to make sure funds are distributed to the right people. If we take the building of a school or hospital analogy the administrator could ensure that the funds are only spent with approved suppliers. A smart contract could be embedded with a supplier of bricks, or timber and instead of cash changing hands the transaction could take place electronically and the virtual funds turned into a bank transfer once the goods have been received.
Scope and opportunity
As connected devices continue to proliferate and become more hardwired into our lives in the first world, the third world is quickly gaining ground. The marriage of digital devices with blockchain and smart contracts provides an opportunity for transparency at levels hitherto unimagined. Provenance lotteries are just the start. A government that is serious about eliminating fraud and bettering the lives of its people could do so easily using blockchain-based applications.