Imagine this, 25 November 1957 – a winding queue of Australians line up to purchase their ticket into the very first Sydney Opera House Lottery, by NSW Lotteries. Within a month, each of the 100,000 tickets into the draw had been sold.

Thirty years on, 496 Opera House Lotteries had been completed, with 496 batches of winners raising over $102 million. And on 20 October 1973, the Sydney Opera House opened, again with a winding queue of eager spectators, keen to view the newest Australian landmark.

Now, in its 50th year, the Australian icon is reunited with The Lott by NSW Lotteries, who helped fund its construction.

By partnering with the Sydney Opera House once again, 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 Opera House Lottery, I wonder if they had any inkling of the incredible masterpiece and enduring legacy they were helping to create,” she said.

“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 iconic 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 first 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.”

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.

To find out more about the Opera House, head here.