The Opera House lottery ran from 1957 to 1986 and sold more than 86 million tickets across 496 draws. The $102 million raised funded the majority of the Opera House’s construction.

The Lott by NSW Lotteries Managing Director and CEO Sue van der Merwe said she hoped the partnership would provide an opportunity for the community to learn more about the shared rich history of the two organisations.

“In November 1957, when Australians bought tickets into the very first Sydney Opera House Lottery, I wonder if they had any inkling of the incredible masterpiece and enduring legacy they were helping to create.

“Australians have been playing the nation’s official lotteries for more than a century, and by doing so, they have helped deliver hospitals, world-leading research, and assistance during natural disasters. However, helping to fund the construction of the Sydney Opera House is perhaps the greatest contribution Australian lottery players have made to the nation.

“It’s impossible to imagine Australia without the Sydney Opera House. It’s Australia’s House – where the dream of an international icon and a place for everyone to connect and share meaningful experiences became a reality.

“As the official home of Australia’s lotteries, we thought it only fitting that we should continue our support of Australia’s most famous House as it embarks on its sixth successful decade.”

The first Opera House Lottery was drawn in January 1958 with tickets priced at £5 ($10) each and a prize of £100,000 ($200,000).

Sydney Opera House CEO Louise Herron AM said: “The Sydney Opera House simply wouldn’t exist without the support of the community that it was built to serve. Our connection with the lotteries dates back to 1957, when tickets to the first Sydney Opera House lottery draw went on sale to fund the construction of what was to become a World Heritage-listed masterpiece.

“More than fifty years later, it’s wonderful to be reconnecting with the lotteries to highlight our shared connection and to create new ways for everyone in the community to experience the magic of the Sydney Opera House.”

To kick off the partnership, The Lott will launch a new campaign that tells the story of how the Opera House Lottery ran for almost 30 years and successfully funded the construction of the building.

The official home of Australia’s lotteries, The Lott operates and markets Australia’s leading lottery games customers know and love creating everyday winners, winning every day.

In 2022, more than 135.3 million winners took home more than $4.14 billion in prize money from their favourite games at The Lott, including Saturday Lotto, Monday & Wednesday Lotto, Powerball, Oz Lotto, Set for Life, Lucky Lotteries, Keno, Super 66, Lotto Strike and Instant Scratch-Its.

Last financial year, Australia’s Official Lotteries contributed more than $1.6 billion via state lottery taxes and donations to help community initiatives, such as hospitals, health research, disaster relief and education.