Lottery ticket sales hit 12-year highSales of lottery tickets have reached a 12-year high, indicating that more Koreans are hoping to get rich quick in dire economic times.
According to a report by the Lottery Commission, under the Ministry of Strategy and Finance, on Thursday, the total sales of lottery tickets hit 3.55 trillion won ($2.96 billion) in 2015, up 13 percent from a year earlier.
Among lottery tickets, Lotto, the most popular online type, recorded 3.25 trillion won in sales, up 208.2 billion won from 2014.
The commission raised a 1.44 trillion won fund out of the money to provide financial support for low-income households and marginalized groups.
The number of lottery sellers rose to 6,361 across the country as 432 were newly created last year.
“The increase in new lottery ticket sellers and improved public image of lottery tickets helped raise sales,” said the commission in a press release. “The sales also improved due [following the] effect that sales plunged in 2014 in the wake of the Sewol Ferry sinking.”
About 68 percent of the people viewed lottery tickets positively in 2015, up 5.2 percentage points from the previous year, the commission survey showed.
The lottery ticket sales accounted for 0.23 percent of the country’s GDP, unchanged since 2011. The ratio is lower than the U.S. (0.38 percent) and OECD countries (0.45 percent).
The lottery fund will be used to help 10,000 low-income households, pay rent for public housing, build shelters for young victims of domestic and sexual violence and to provide wheelchairs and other support aids for the elderly.
BY SONG SU-HYUN [song.suhyun@joongang,co.kr]