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Lottery ticket-buying details

Updated: 2012-09-24 10:41
By China Daily ( China Daily)

Report reveals most are from urban areas and southern China

China Lottery Industry Salon has published a report about the industry's current situation, providing an insight into Chinese lottery players' behavior for the first time in 26 years.

The report covered a host of player information including level of education, domestic situation, where tickets are bought and the amount of money spent.

The online survey was conducted from May to July, 2011, and between February and April this year. Last year nearly 15,000 online players were surveyed. Another 9,592 people were questioned in the survey this year.

Lottery ticket-buying details

Two women studying a lottery ticket in Suiyuan county, in East China's Jiangxi province. According to a recent online survey conducted by China Lottery Industry Salon, more than half of the people who bought lottery tickets online come from cities while rural residents account for only 10 percent. [Photo/China Daily]


Who are they?

Of all players surveyed, more than 90 percent are male, mostly young people. In 2011, 51.4 percent players were younger than 30 years old. The proportion rose to 58.1 percent in 2012.

Age of players

Most of them are well educated, with nearly 60 percent holding at least a college degree. People who are single or come from a three-member family each make up about 30 percent of the total number of players.

Where are the players?

More than half of the participants come from cities, while rural residents account for only 10 percent.

Players' residences

As to the specific location of the players, the survey found a correlation between lottery sales and level of economic development. More than 15 percent of the players were from Guangdong, one of the most economically vibrant provinces in South China, followed by East China's Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces. Jiangsu has 12.9 percent and Zhejiang 7.2 percent.

Lottery ticket-buying details


Players' spending

In different locations, the amount of money spent on lottery tickets also differs. Most people buy tickets just for fun and would not spend more than 10 percent of their monthly income, except those who live in towns, of whom 20 percent would spend as much as 60 percent of their monthly income on buying tickets.

Size of family also seems to affect the amount of money spent. The survey showed that players from families with three or more members generally spent less on buying tickets. More than 10 percent of single players spend 40 to 60 percent of their monthly income on tickets, while the proportion in multiple-member families is slightly more than 3 percent.

"One can have a pretty good chance of winning a sports lottery so long as he or she knows the sport very well and if you know how to analyze the odds. Sixty percent of your monthly income as an investment is not a big deal," said Zhao Yue, a Zhejiang lottery player with two years of experience.

Players' behavior

Many people have a firm belief they can make their fortune by purchasing lottery tickets. Of all the players surveyed, more than 60 percent were confident that they would finally hit the jackpot so long as they stick to it. More than half have already begun to visualize life after winning the lottery.

China has more than 200 million lottery players at present, more than 7 million of whom are addicted to buying tickets, according to The survey further confirmed this phenomenon, with 34.8 percent of players admitting they would spend most of their spare time thinking about lottery-related events.

The original intention of issuing lottery tickets was to encourage people to donate. Over the last two decades, sports and welfare lotteries in China have provided major sources of funds for building community sports facilities and financing social welfare programs in the country.

But players don't seem to be concerned about where the money goes when nobody wins. "I never cared about where my money went if I didn't win, but I would presume it was doing something good for society," said Gao Lingjun, a Beijing lottery player.

Most players seem to be aware of the low winning odds. More than 60 percent believe the chances of hitting the jackpot are one in 20 million.

Nearly 30 percent were not sure whether the statistical analysis of lottery numbers could improve the odds. About 40 percent thought it was just entertainment.

As to the choice of point-of-sale, about 80 percent players considered proximity as the first priority. For those who have experience in buying tickets online, three-quarters thought convenience was the most obvious advantage. More than 40 percent have made bets via cellphone applications.

The future

Selling lottery tickets online seems to be the developing trend of the industry. The total sales of online tickets reached 15 billion yuan in 2011, 30 times as much as it was five years ago, according to data from

"Last year was the most tough and complicated year for the lottery industry, especially online business," said Su Guojing, founder of China Lottery Industry Salon. 

In March, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Civil Affairs and the General Administration of Sports jointly announced that some websites selling lottery tickets would be banned due to difficulties regulating them.

Now other means of paperless tickets, such as sales via cellphone applications, have become the new focus of the industry.

Already about 40 percent of the people surveyed buy their tickets through their cellphones, despite the technology still being in its infancy. Experts predict sales by cellphone will continue to increase.

"China's mobile Internet industry has huge potential. It has 128 million iOS and Android devices, as many as in the United States," said Duan Bin, an Internet industry expert.

Besides selling tickets online, experts say that some other fields need further development, including the establishment of lottery funds' credibility, an increase in variety of lottery game types and methods of payment.

"The research might have its limitations since it was all done online," said Su Guojing, "But it's a big step forward for the industry and we hope to do more in the future."

Pan Jiayuan contributed to this story.