China / Hot Issues

Lawyer doesn't buy lottery explanation

By Zhao Xinying (China Daily) Updated: 2015-02-06 07:55

A lawyer in the Ningxia Hui autonomous region has sued the Ningxia and China Welfare Lottery centers, as well as the Beijing Fangyuan Notary Public Office, seeking a clear explanation for the delay in a draw that has prompted allegations of foul play.

Lawyer Yong Jijun claims that the delay in drawing the winning lottery number broke the contract with ticket holders, including himself.

The Xingqing district people's court Yinchuan, capital of the Ningxia Hui autonomous region, has accepted the case.

On Jan 25, a draw worth 500 million yuan ($80 million), due to be telecast live at 9:30 pm, was canceled without advance notice. The results were announced on the China Welfare Lottery Center's micro blog two hours later, prompting allegations that the lottery centers may be involved in fraud.

The following day the China Welfare Lottery center said that the delay was caused by an "abnormality of the data index", because "the gathering and transmission of data couldn't be finished in time". The Ministry of Civil Affairs apologized to ticket holders for the delay.

However, some ticket holders didn't buy the explanation. One man surnamed Zhang has reported the case to the Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, hoping that an inspection could be conducted to ensure the fairness of the draw.

Yong, who paid 100 yuan ($16) for the lottery tickets, said his purpose was not to get his money back, but to raise tickets holders' awareness of their rights.

"All draws and results are invalid if they are not conducted according to the rules," Yong said. "The lottery centers' delay in drawing the winning numbers was a breach of their contract with ticket holders."

"Lottery buyers are obliged to pay for their tickets while lottery centers are obliged to draw the winning numbers at the appointed time," Yong said. "Any side that breaks the contract should be punished."

Yong said the Ningxia Welfare Lottery Center had expressed through the district people's court that they wouldn't respond to the case.

China Daily could not reach the Ningxia or China Welfare Lottery centers for comment.

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