Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Lottery Madness!

The Taiwanese government a few years back decided to crack down on "under-the-table" sales by local businesses. They had a serious lack of revenue coming in considering the size of the economy. The folks in charge decided to deal with this problem in a very clever way. They started a lottery based on store receipts. Every time you buy something in Taiwan, you get a government issued receipt with an eight-digit number on it. The picture on the right is a receipt I got today from the store in my building. The 04836781 is the random eight-digit number assigned to this one. The government draws four sets of numbers every two months and if you have a ticket that matches at least three numbers in one of the sets, you win money! If you manage to have a ticket with all eight of the numbers matching one from the drawing, you win NT$2,000,000. The opportunity to strike it rich makes it a certainty that people will want their receipts. Therefore under-the-table sales are few and far between. The drawings are for all the receipts collected in the previous two months, they add up! In order to win, you have to look at the numbers from right to left. For example, if the next drawing has a set with this combination: 87543781, the ticket in the picture would win because it matches the "781".

We just had a drawing yesterday and I won. I had 7 matching receipts! I had six receipts that matched three numbers, and one that matched four...for a total of NT$2200, or about $70 American. I know that's not a ton of money, but hey, it's money for nothing!

The really crazy aspect of all of this is I booked my hotel for Bangkok last week and the total came to 2,556 Baht (the money in Thailand). After I won, I decided to see how many Baht this is equal to...this is winnings are equal to 2,562 Baht...yikes! That is an eerie coincidence.


grace said...

chixgrease!! just wanted to drop a saludos! sounds like you're enjoying the FOB lifestyle :) keep in touch -grace-

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