Chinese people have always had an interest in gambling and despite the fact that the authorities made it illegal to gamble, some always find a way. Those who are attracted by the promise of future gains, but don’t want to break any law and get on the bad side of the Communist Party, choose lottery. It is not only allowed but also promoted by the government, which makes it a win-win situation for those who feel lucky enough to beat the odds.
The shortest way to becoming a millionaire
There are very few ways of getting filthy rich in China without breaking a law, and that’s why the prospect of winning the jackpot is so appealing. With the official newspapers promoting the lottery on every occasion they’ve got, it comes as no surprise that in 2011 more than $35 billion were spent on lottery tickets. The figures are constantly on the rise and it is very likely that 2013 will be the year when even the most optimistic prognosis will be surpassed.
The Communist Party chose to ban gambling in all its forms immediately after taking power, but 25 years ago China Welfare Lottery was established. Its success is overwhelming and a part of the money collected is spent on good causes, in a similar manner as done in the West. It was only natural for another lottery to be created only seven years after, with the China Sports Lottery being aimed at financially supporting China’s Olympic athletes. Seeing how successful they were in the latest Olympic event, it goes without saying that the lottery served its purpose well and will continue to do so.
Everyone hopes for a pleasant surprise
While some lottery players are focusing exclusively on winning the jackpots, most Chinese would gladly settle for second tier prizes. Whether they hope to spend the money on traveling abroad, buying some of the latest technology or just enjoy the feeling created by scratching colorful cards, all of them are hoping for pleasant surprises. Scratch cards sell like hot cakes, with some depicting NBA players, others featuring quotes of Confucius or Sun Tzu and some focusing on the winter holidays.
Lottery addiction is something that worries the Chinese officials, despite the fact that the effects are not as obvious and dramatic as in traditional gambling. Hundreds of thousands are thinking only about how to win the next draw and struggle to find money to pay for more tickets immediately after they lose. On one hand, the authorities try to control the problem, on the other they aggressively promote the lottery in official media. What is certain is that the lottery is gaining a lot of traction in China and both the number of prizes and jackpots are expected to grow at an accelerated pace in the upcoming years.