Economic Gloom Fuels Rise in Lottery Ticket Sales

  • By Shon Jin-seok

    April 24, 2017 11:19

    Sales of lottery tickets are growing as the prolonged recession fuels private fantasies of a change in fortune.

    The Ministry of Strategy and Finance said on Friday that lottery tickets worth W1.18 trillion were sold in the first quarter of this year, up 6 percent from a year earlier (US$1=W1,137). This is the first time first-quarter sales have surpassed W1 trillion since 2004.

    If this pace is maintained, total sales for the year would exceed W4 trillion.

    Annual lottery sales peaked at W4.23 trillion in 2003, before declining to about W3 trillion and remaining at that level until a few years ago.

    "When the economy falters, to get through hard times people tend to pin their hopes on a windfall, which also lets them indulge in a little temporal relief," a ministry official said.

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