The launch of the United Kingdom''s National Lottery at the end of 1994, was one of the most significant developments in both the funding of Britain''s cultural sector and the British gambling sector since 1946. Thus in the 1995 financial year National Lottery ticket sales exceeded £5 billion of which 28% went to five specified ldquogood causes.rdquo This paper presents an overview of the National Lottery''s launch and growth to date using published material and data. The lottery''s establishment and regulatory regime are discussed, together with its impact in terms of both economic activity and the wider betting and gaming market within the UK. The National Lottery is then considered within the broader international context, and the incoming Labour Government''s restructuring plans aimed at creating a ldquoPeople''s Lotteryrdquo are discussed. Thus the paper provides an overview of the development of a major new national institution.