The Earth may have hit the jackpot with environmental protection lotteries.
A proposal in China would create a lottery in order to raise funds to improve air quality and curb water pollution.
"Apart from solving the capital shortage, the lottery would raise public awareness of environmental protection," said Chen Fei, a farmer and National People's Congress deputy from eastern China's Zhejiang province in China Daily.
Chen proposed the lottery after witnessing the success of a similar system, which has raised 206 billion yuan ($32.7 billion) for social welfare programs since its inception in 1987.
But the lottery system doesn't pick all the right lucky numbers to solve China's environmental problems, said critics.
Feng Yongfeng, founder of Green Beagle, a Beijing-based environmental protection organization, said the real problem is a lack of enforcement of legislation.
"What we lack at the moment is an accountability system, rather than investment," Feng said in China Daily.
Zhou Yan, an English teacher in Nanjing, believes the lottery would foot the bill for something that should be on the government's tab.
"This is like collecting money from private pockets for State revenue," said Zhou in China Daily.
Others believe the lottery would encourage gambling.
Photo: A Chinese man walks past a sales office of the China Welfare Lottery and the China Sports Lottery in Shanghai. Credit: Corbis.