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China launches instant sports lottery with Olympic theme
(China Daily)
Updated: 2008-03-18 09:02


Shandong province will be the first province to sell tickets for a new kind of sports lottery, the instant lottery, beginning on March 23.

The lottery will then go nationwide in May and June, China's Sports Lottery Administration Center announced last week.

The Olympic-themed instant lottery has five varieties and features different themes such as "To be No 1" and "Good luck to China".

The lottery tickets display the Fuwas (the five Beijing Olympic mascots), Olympic game introductions and the Olympic torch relay route and other designs.

The face value of the tickets will range from 5 to 10 yuan.

Different from other sports lotteries, which give players a 50 percent chance of winning, the instant lottery will have a 65 percent prize-winning rate, with the top prize totalling 250,000 yuan ($34,965).

Buyers will have to go to designated places to cash in tickets worth more than 5,000 yuan.

Online operation will ensure the lottery selling remains open and fair, officials say.

In 2007, China's total lottery sales exceeded 100 billion yuan, an increase of 18 billion yuan or 20 percent over 2006, setting a 20-year record in China's lottery history.

China launched its first lottery in June 1987. Lottery ticket sales are one of the main sources of funding for building community sports facilities and financing the country's social welfare programs. Lottery bylaws stipulate that a minimum of 35 percent of receipts must go to the welfare sector.

The sports lottery public welfare fund contributed 2.75 billion yuan to the Beijing Olympic Games.

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