news Tuesday, June 16, 2015 - 05:30
 State-run Kerala lottery "Karunya", where the revenue is used to help economically weak patients, is all set to reach a milestone soon with the total number of its beneficiaries reaching a 100,000-mark.   It is the brain-child of state Finance Minister K.M.Mani.   The lottery since its launch in August 2011 has helped 92,458 patients by providing healthcare costing Rs 746.46 crore, said Mani in a statement issued here on Tuesday.   The income from the sale of Karunya lottery tickets is exclusively set apart for extending financial assistance to the patients from the downtrodden category and also from the economically weak sections of the society suffering from kidney, cancer, cardiac, neurological, liver ailments, besides haemophilia patients.   Karunya lottery offers an attractive prize structure, offering Rs 1 crore as first prize, with the lottery ticket costing Rs 50.    The revenue generated from this weekly lottery is used to pay for the medical bills of ailing people who approach the state government for help.   "Including private hospitals, today there are 108 hospitals in the state that provide treatment under the Karunya scheme," said Mani.   State-owned Kerala lotteries has never been in loss since its inception and has various lottery schemes which have weekly draw.   In 1967, the total revenue from lottery sales in Kerala was only Rs 20 lakh that reached a whopping Rs 3,793.72 crores in 2013-2014.   There are close to 40,000 authorised agents and over 100,000 retailers in the state who sell these lottery tickets.