QSA DID 2805: Letter from the Manager of the Golden Casket Art Union to the Home Secretary's Department regarding the number of Golden Caskets held, dated 19 April 1923.


The Golden Casket Art Union was organised in 1916 as a means of raising revenue for the Australian Soldiers’ Repatriation Fund. By offering the largest prize of any lottery in the world - £5000 - the Golden Casket was able to contribute £60,000 to the fund over the following three years before directing further profits into the construction of new accommodation for nurses at the Brisbane Children’s Hospital. A new era dawned in 1920 when the lottery was taken over by the Queensland Government and profits were channelled into the newly-created Motherhood, Child Welfare and Hospital Fund. By the 1930s the Golden Casket had provided the finance to build maternity hospitals and infant clinics throughout the State. Thereafter, revenue raised by the art union was redirected into public hospitals and provided the basis for Queensland’s free hospital system until 1975 when profits began funding cultural development projects. From 1981 the Golden Casket lottery began to decline in popularity and it was found necessary to develop new marketing strategies such as Gold Lotto and Instant Scratch-Its. Since 1989 all profits have been absorbed into the State’s consolidated revenue.


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