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The Globe and Mail

U.K. lottery lets people win fertility treatments

If you're gunning to win a brand new family sedan or a motorboat, don't waste your time with a charity lottery – that's what The Price is Right is for.

No, charity lotteries should be for things a little more personal. Sacred, even. Like the creation of human life.

Britain's Daily Telegraph reports the country's gambling commission has given fertility-advice charity To Hatch the green light to launch a lottery in which the monthly prize is £25,000 (about $38,000 CDN) worth of fertility treatments.

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Tickets are £20 ($30 CDN) each.

Winners not only get IVF, they're put up in a posh hotel, chauffeured to the fertility clinic and given a mobile phone with which to keep in touch with doctors. Swanky!

The lottery doesn't discriminate, either. If a singleton wins, he or she will be awarded donor sperm or a surrogate mother plus donor embryo.

Unsurprisingly, ethicists have called the lottery "demeaning." But the charity's founder dismisses those criticisms, and says the prize eases the stress on people who struggle to conceive and see the cost of treatment as a barrier.

This calls to mind another controversial lottery from (where else?) Britain. In 2007, a cosmetic surgery marketing firm launched a plastic surgery lottery which awarded winners £6,000 (about $9,200 CDN) to spend on a cosmetic procedure of their choice

What do you think? Should charities stick to cars, cruises and cash as prizes? Or are medical procedures worthwhile prizes too?

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