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What is the name of the state lottery in West Bengal?

The state lottery in West Bengal, India is called the West Bengal State Lottery. It is run by the state government’s finance department and has been in operation since 1968. The lottery is an important source of revenue for the state government and attracts players from across India.

When did the West Bengal state lottery begin?

The West Bengal state lottery was first established in 1968 during the chief ministership of Ajoy Mukherjee of the Indian National Congress party. At the time, the state was facing financial difficulties and the lottery was seen as an innovative way to raise funds without increasing taxes on the population. The Lotteries Act was passed in West Bengal Legislative Assembly in March 1968 to provide the legal framework for the state lottery.

The first West Bengal state lottery draw took place on November 1, 1968 at the Eden Gardens cricket stadium in Kolkata. The inaugural ‘lottery ticket’ cost just Re 1 and the first prize was Rs 50,000! Over time, the lottery has grown to offer bigger prizes and more variety of games.

What was the motivation behind starting the state lottery?

The key motivations behind the West Bengal government’s move to start a state-run lottery were:

  • Raise revenue for the state’s exchequer without imposing higher taxes
  • Channelize the propensity for gambling into a regulated state-run activity
  • Provide employment opportunities by creating a lottery department
  • Support small businesses like ticket vendors, distributors and printing presses

By establishing a lottery department to manage operations efficiently, the state government aimed to maximize revenues that could be used for welfare programs and development works.

How many types of lottery games are conducted in West Bengal?

Over the years, the West Bengal State Lottery has introduced many different lottery games. Currently, the following types of lottery games are active in West Bengal:

Game Name Ticket Price Top Prize Draw Held
Dear Bangalakshmi Teesta ₹6 ₹25 lakh Monday
Dear Bangalakshmi Torsha ₹6 ₹25 lakh Tuesday
Dear Bangabhumi Bhagirathi ₹6 ₹25 lakh Wednesday
Dear Bangabhumi Ajay ₹6 ₹25 lakh Thursday
Dear Bangasree Damodar ₹6 ₹25 lakh Friday
Dear Bangasree Ichamati ₹6 ₹25 lakh Saturday
Dear Bangasree Ganga ₹6 ₹25 lakh Sunday

These lottery games are very popular across West Bengal and some neighboring states. Players can buy tickets from over 10,000 licensed lottery ticket vendors. The top prize is ₹25 lakh for each of these games.

How have the lottery games evolved over the years?

When the lottery first began, there was just one draw per week. Over time, more draws were added during the week to attract more players. Some of the key developments include:

  • 1986 – Two weekly draws introduced
  • 1989 – Three weekly draws
  • 1992 – Four weekly draws
  • 1998 – Daily draws began
  • 2009 – Introduction of digit lotteries
  • 2012 – Bumper lotteries introduced

Initially, the lottery tickets cost just 25 paise in 1968. The price was gradually increased over the years. Now, tickets cost ₹6 for the regular lottery draws.

The prizes have also grown substantially from the first prize of Rs 50,000 in 1968. Now, players can win up to ₹25 lakh in the regular lotteries and ₹5 crore to ₹10 crore in bumper draws.

What is the organizational structure of the West Bengal State Lottery?

The Directorate of State Lotteries was established in 1968 under the Finance Department of West Bengal government to manage the lottery operations. The organizational structure is as follows:


The Director of State Lotteries heads the Directorate and oversees all activities – from draw operations, distribution, revenue monitoring to anti-cheating enforcement. The Director’s office is in Kolkata.

Regional Lottery Offices

There are 5 regional lottery offices for North, South, East, West and Central zones. They manage local logistics, distribution, ticket sales monitoring and drive special initiatives in their respective regions.

District Lottery Offices

At the district level, there are lottery offices headed by a District Magistrate (Lottery). Their key responsibilities include vendor licensing, monitoring lottery sales, and administrative compliance. There are 19 district lottery offices covering all districts.

Key roles

Other key roles in the lottery directorate include:

  • Accounts officers to manage accounts
  • System administrators to manage IT systems and draw software
  • Law officers for legal and compliance aspects
  • Inspectors for enforcement activities
  • Support staff across various functions

The organizational structure enables decentralized decision making and operations aligned to local market needs while ensuring overall coordination and control from headquarters.

What is the process of the lottery draw?

The lottery draws involve a very systematic process that ensures transparency, fairness and public trust. Here are the key steps involved:

Preparation of lottery balls

The lottery draw uses randomly numbered plastic balls that are precisely weighed and measured to be identical. These balls are checked thoroughly and locked before the draw to prevent tampering.

Selection of balls

The draw involves a spinning barrel with small openings just large enough for one ball to pass through. As the barrel spins, balls get randomly selected one by one.

Recording of numbers

The numbers on each ball selected are recorded and displayed to the public through a glass screen. CCTV cameras record the entire process.

Declaration of results

Once all the winning numbers are selected, the results are officially declared and made public. They are also published in next day newspapers.


An external government auditor is present to observe and verify that all procedures have been correctly followed during the draw.

By following stringent protocols, the lottery draw process aims to ensure 100% fair play and build public confidence.

What technology is used by the West Bengal State Lottery?

Technology plays a key role in the successful operations of the West Bengal lottery. Some of the technology used includes:

Random number generators

Electronic random number generators based on complex algorithms are used to select the winning numbers. This ensures true randomness in results.

Encrypted digital networks

Secured networks are used to electronically transmit lottery results to all distribution points across the state simultaneously to prevent leakage.

Computerized monitoring systems

Sophisticated systems track lottery sales and revenues district-wise on a real-time basis for better monitoring and control.

Mobile apps

Lottery consumers can download apps for checking results, finding nearest vendors, playing digit games online and even scanning tickets to instantly verify wins.

CCTV surveillance

High resolution CCTV cameras are used to monitor draws live as well as record footage to ensure transparency in case of disputes.

By using the latest technology, the lottery aims to provide a modern, convenient and fair playing experience to consumers across West Bengal.

What is the organizational culture like?

The West Bengal State Lottery Directorate has evolved a progressive work culture focused on customer orientation, transparency and performance. Some of its key cultural attributes are:

Obsession with fairness

Ensuring 100% fair play through technology and rigorous processes is an article of faith that drives conduct at all levels.

Service orientation

Keeping the end consumer’s convenience in mind is deeply ingrained in the lottery department’s culture.

Innovation focus

Continuous improvement by embracing new technologies and game formats is encouraged at all levels.


Zero tolerance towards illegal activities, corruption or misconduct and swift action against offenders.


Coordinated teamwork and open communication across departments to achieve targets.

This progressive culture has enabled the lottery department to keep pace with the changing external environment while retaining public confidence over five decades.

What is the impact of the state lottery?

The state lottery has had a range of economic, social and financial impacts over the past 50+ years. Some of the key impacts are:

Revenue contribution

The lottery generates over ₹3,500 crore annually as revenue for the state government from just ₹1 crore in 1968.

Employment generation

The lottery supports livelihoods for over 5 lakh people across ticketing, distribution, retail and printing.

Skill development

Software skills and responsible gambling practices are promoted through vocational training programs.

Entertainment value

The lottery provides regular safe entertainment to the general public across social strata.

Welfare funding

The revenue supports various social welfare schemes covering healthcare, education and infrastructure.

Despite some criticism, the lottery has broadly benefited West Bengal’s economy and society over the years.

What is the future outlook for the state lottery?

The West Bengal state lottery continues to adapt and thrive in a dynamic external environment. The future outlook appears positive based on the following factors:

Strong historical performance

Five decades of successful operations have established the lottery’s credibility in the public mind.

Growing middle class

Rising incomes could expand the pool of lottery consumers in small towns and rural areas.

Untapped potential

Scope exists to launch more variety in lottery games tailored for different consumer segments.

Supportive government

The state government is aligned regarding the lottery’s importance as a revenue source.

Positive social perception

Backlash against gambling lessened over the years due to awareness of welfare benefits.

While offline ticket sales may shrink going forward, the lottery seems well placed to transform into an online avatar integrated with state government’s digital initiatives.


In conclusion, the West Bengal State Lottery has come a long way since its inception in 1968. The lottery operations are managed efficiently by the Directorate of State Lotteries using the latest technology. Numerous lottery games offer players a chance to try their luck and win big prizes up to ₹25 crore. Millions of lottery tickets are sold every week through authorized vendors. The lottery contributes significantly to state revenues and has funded many welfare programs over the decades. By ensuring a fair and transparent system, the lottery enjoys public confidence. Although some challenges remain, the lottery seems poised for a bright future by leveraging digitalization and innovation.