Letter, Golden Casket Art Union
11 Jul 1917
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The Golden Casket Lottery was first conceived during World War 1 by the Entertainment Committee of the Queensland Patriotic Fund to raise funds for veterans of the War. The first prize in the first draw went to 16-year-old John Zimmerle, who had to wait until he was 21 until he could claim his £5,000 ($10,000). He used the proceeds to buy a farm at Rochedale, Brisbane, where he remained for most of his working life.
The first five Golden Casket Art Unions raised £24,138 for the Australian Soldiers Repatriation Fund and £37,115 for the building of Anzac Cottages for war widows and their families.
By 1920 the Golden Casket had evolved into Australia’s first government-run lottery. Over the years, the proceeds have gone to numerous causes, and many of Queensland's existing hospitals and health services have benefited from funds raised by the Golden Casket. On 29 June 2007 Golden Casket Lottery Corporation became a wholly owned subsidiary of Tattersall's Limited.