SEOUL, Jan. 10 (Korea Bizwire) – Sales of Lotto tickets reached the second highest number ever in 2017, the country’s lottery operator said Wednesday, amid growth in the number of sales outlets.
Total sales are projected at 3.79 trillion won (US$3.4 billion) for last year, the Korea Lottery Commission said.
The number is one of the largest tallied since the country started selling Lotto tickets in 2002. Sales peaked in 2003 when it reached 3.82 trillion won. That year, there was a buying frenzy after a winner took a record prize of 40.7 billion won (US$38 million) in April that included money carried over from previous drawings.
Sales plummeted 13.7 percent to 3.29 trillion won in 2004 as the government restricted the carryover of prize money to one time only and halved the price of each game to 1,000 won.
Total sales continued to drop to 2.26 trillion won in 2007 before rebounding to 3.04 trillion won in 2014.
Some market watchers attributed the rise in sales to growing youth unemployment and public concerns over economic conditions.
An official of the Ministry of Strategy and Finance, however, said the change is mainly attributable to the increase in the number of sales outlets.
“The number of sales outlets increased by 635 to 7,230 last year,” the official said. “Lotto sales have nothing to do with economic conditions.”