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Raffler's Disruption of the Lottery

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Anyone who knows me, knows that I'm not a fan of gambling. My theory has always been that we should work hard to earn our money and then spend it, invest it or donate it. For that reason I've become increasingly uneasy about the meteoric growth of online gambling and sports betting websites. A simple web search for gambling apps or online casino leads to an eye opening array of options for someone wanting to gamble away their hard earned salary.

I was impressed when a new app was recently launched that isn't gambling and disrupts the traditional lottery. Raffler (available on both Android and iOS) allows players to enter a daily prize draw of at least $1,000 by streaming short ads. Essentially, this mobile app is an advertising platform with incentives for those who download it. Simple.

Last week, Raffler launched in the U.S. after a successful initial opening in the the U.K., where the company is based. The concept is simple: players enter a daily prize draw of at least $1,000 by watching two 30-second video ads on any mobile device with the ad revenue generating the winning pot. Think of this as a chance to get paid to watch an online ad so that the advertising agencies aren't the only ones making out.

Co-founders Joe Glick and George Hattrell created Raffler out of a desire to democratize lotteries and give everyone an equal chance of winning money for free. "Anyone with a smartphone or tablet can genuinely give themselves the chance of winning free cash by watching a couple of ads," said Glick. "We don't sell data and we will never charge for entry."

I love this concept because it's not gambling (there's nothing to actually wager since it's a free entry) and the winners are both the companies using Raffler to advertise and the potential lottery winners (which can be anyone). I'm not surprised Raffler was one of the top 10 lifestyle apps for Apple devices.

Co-founder Hattrell adds that a charity component is already in the works. "Next steps are not only to grow the business but partner with charities to give back a portion of the prizes and encourage players through the app to get involved with their communities, he explained.

Raffler has already been played over 5 million times and has given away over $300,000. Users must be 16 or older and can play Raffler once a day. However, there's no limit on how many days you can play. Hopefully more innovative companies will move away from the gambling space and create win-win apps like the one Raffler has.

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