Novamedia, lotteries for a better world
Nationale Postcode Loterij (Dutch Postcode Lottery) was launched in 1989 to raise money for charity organisations that aim to create a fairer, greener world.
The founders of Nationale Postcode Loterij had worked in the fields of fundraising, publicity and member recruitment. These experiences and the desire to make the world a better place led to the invention of a lottery format that not only focused on sharing the revenue but also on winning together: postcode lotteries.
Founders Boudewijn Poelmann, Frank Leeman, Herman de Jong and Simon Jelsma – the former shareholders in Novamedia – had such faith in the new lottery format that they took the financial risk.
What seems obvious now was far from so at the time. When the lottery was set up, there was a great deal of skepticism and nobody, including the charities, dared to co-finance the initiative. Some charities even did not want to receive contributions.
It’s thanks to the perseverance of the founders that Novamedia kept the faith. Nowadays six lotteries in five countries raise money for good causes. Novamedia is carrying all the risks and expenses associated with getting new Postcode Lotteries off the ground.
In 32 years, players of the Postcode Lotteries and VriendenLoterij have raised a total of 11.7 billion for more than 1,000 charities and social organisations worldwide. Novamedia and its Postcode Lotteries has ranked in the world’s top three private charity donors for over a decade. It is named third largest in the world, after the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust, and second largest in Europe.
Since 2017 all the shares of Novamedia, and the lotteries, are in the hands of a general interest foundation: the Novamedia Foundation Trust. This protects the sale of Novamedia and the intellectual property rights related to the Postcode Lottery format.
The history of the brands
Nationale Postcode Loterij was launched in the Netherlands in 1989. The success prompted Novamedia to launch two lotteries abroad In 2005: Svenska Postkodlotteriet in Sweden and People’s Postcode Lottery in Great Britain.
Deutsche Postcode Lotterie launched in 2016 throughout Germany. In 2018 Norsk Postkodelotteri started in Norway.
In the Netherlands Novamedia operates another lottery: VriendenLoterij, launched in 1998.
In 2014 bookstore Scheltema in Amsterdam was added to Novamedia.
Children raising funds
On December 20 1989, school children pass through the doors. To sell lottery tickets for a good cause. They collect 300,000 authorizations of 10 guilders. The entire proceeds from this first drawing of Nationale Postcode Loterij goes to refugees. The rest is history.