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Russia launches federal lottery to help fund Sochi Olympics

MOSCOW, October 15 (RIA Novosti) - Russia launched its first nationwide state-run lottery on Wednesday, with some of the expected 30 billion rubles ($1.1 billion) revenues over the next five years to go towards the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

Revenues from the Goslotto lottery, reminiscent of the Soviet-era Sportloto lottery that helped finance the Moscow Olympic Games in 1980, will also be used to support Russian sports in general. The lottery is being organized by Orglot, owned by Hungarian property mogul Sandor Demjan.

Some 10,000 lottery terminals are expected to be installed by the end of the year across the country. The first ticket sales will start on October 27.

Russia intends to spend $12 billion on the Olympics in Sochi, with half of the sum coming from the budget and another half from private investments. Two-thirds of the budget funds will go towards improving infrastructure in the region.

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