BUSINESS

After 39 draws, Vietnam’s new lottery finally has first jackpot winner

TAGs: Berjaya Corp, Lottery, Vietnam

After 39 draws, Vietnam's new lottery finally has first jackpot winnerVietnam is celebrating the first ever jackpot winner of the country’s new computerized lottery.

In July, Malaysia’s Berjaya Corp and Vietnam’s state-run lottery firm Vietlott launched the new Mega 6/45 lottery product in Vietnam. But despite holding three draws per week, the jackpot went 39 straight draws without a big winner, generating both anticipation and frustration among lottery players.

But that losing streak ended on Sunday, after a farmer in Tra Vinh province found himself holding a ticket bearing all six lucky numbers. By that point, the original prize of VND 12b (US $536k) had swollen to just over VND 92b, or around $4.11m.

Tuoi Tre News reported that the lucky farmer claimed he bought the winning ticket – for the list price of VND 10k (45¢) – on his way home from work on Sunday morning, then discovered his windfall while watching the televised draw with his family over Sunday dinner. The eager farmer chucked his fork and went to claim his prize at Vietlott’s HQ that same night.

The state takes a 10% cut to cover personal income taxes, meaning our lucky farmer will take home around VND 83b ($3.7m), which is not bad for a country where the average annual salary is $150. The top 6/45 prize now resets to its original VND 12b, but something tells us sales will be brisk given that people can now read about someone actually winning the damn thing.

Vietnam’s residents have very few options when it comes to gambling, and it took the Berjaya/Vietlott partnership six years to come to fruition from the date that Berjaya first proposed the Mega 6/45 concept to the Vietnamese government.

Vietnam’s government has been similarly slow in approving plans to liberalize the country’s sports betting market. In August, the government promised to once again revise its oft-delayed draft betting regulations to allow wagering on international football matches, but little has been heard of the plan since (much like the country’s on-again, off-again plans to allow local residents to gamble in casinos).

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