China doesn’t like gambling. But it doesn’t mind running lotteries to help support welfare programs. One lucky winner just cracked a major lottery, but kept it secret from his family because he thought it would make them become lazy.
The Nanning Evening News reported that a man identified as Mr. Li won CNY219 million ($29.9 million) in the lottery. He never told his wife or child, concerned that they would stop working.
His win was an exaggerated amount by any standards. But more so in China, and in particular, the Guangxi province where he lived. There, the average annual salary is around US$11,181.
A Multimillion-Dollar Secret
It had to be difficult for Li to contain his excitement after realizing he won. It had to be even more difficult to keep the secret when he told his wife he was going to take a road trip.
Li purchased the winning ticket in the small village of Litang, but had to travel to the lottery office in Nanning in order to claim the prize. He spent the night in a hotel, clutching the ticket out of fear of losing it.
The following day, he made his way to the office. He wore a “bright yellow costume,” according to the Nanning Evening News media outlet so that he could hide his identity.
After confirming he held the multimillion-dollar ticket, the lottery presented the prize. After giving the government its cut, he took home around CNY171.6 million (US$23.56 million). Li reportedly donated around CNY5 million (US$686,500) to charity, but hasn’t decided what to do with the rest.
Lotteries often deliver life-altering sums, and the US is still waiting for someone to win the Powerball jackpot. That prize is now up to $1.2 billion for Wednesday night after no one landed on the right numbers on Halloween.
China Counts on Lotteries
A recent report by China’s Ministry of Finance stated that Chinese lottery ticket sales exceeded CNY33.33 billion (US$4.57 billion) in September. This figure was 6.7% higher than in September 2021.
Welfare lottery sales were CNY12.32 billion (US$1.69 billion), a year-on-year increase of 4%. Sales of sports lottery products increased by 8.3% to CNY21.01 billion (US$2.88 billion).
The Chinese Lottery’s first nine months in 2022 saw sales of CNY281.24 billion (US$38.61 billion). This was an increase of 1% over the previous year.
China has recently experienced economic declines that don’t show signs of letting up. Analysts expect the yuan to continue to lose value in the Forex market, registering its longest losing streak in almost 30 years.
The situation will likely get worse before it gets better. China’s zero-COVID-19 policies aren’t ending, and this is impacting domestic and international business, especially in Macau.
Liang Wannian, a senior member of the National Health Commission’s COVID-19 Response Team, told China Central Television (CCTV) this week that China’s zero COVID-19 policy might continue into the first quarter of 2023. He said no changes will arrive without more widespread vaccinations against the virus.
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