Since the Taiwan Lottery Co (台灣彩券公司) started issuing lottery tickets on Jan. 1, it has created 163 multimillionaires as of the end of last month. Sagittarian players were the luckiest, accounting for 18 percent of winners.
Among them, six walked away with prizes worth more than NT$100 million (US$3 million) from Big Lotto (大樂透). Another 16 won prizes worth more than NT$10 million from Big Lotto and Lotto (樂透彩).
The largest cash prize ever awarded was NT$726,486,142 (US$21,752,385), the nation's exclusive Public Welfare Lottery operator said yesterday.
A survey of big winners showed 72 percent were men and only 28 percent were women. Forty-four percent lived in Taipei.
Nearly 30 percent of the winners are aged between 40 and 49. Thirty-nine percent who turned rich overnight were office workers earning monthly salaries of between NT$30,000 and NT$49,999.
Sharing their winning tips, 68 percent of the winners said they had used randomly chosen numbers from lotto machines, while 23 percent had used their lucky numbers.
Before claiming their cash, most winners carefully placed the winning tickets in wallets, cabinets, desks or cars, and a handful hid them in books, household shrines or refrigerators.
Keeping a low key, 96 percent of the multimillionaires chose to stay at their jobs.
Some players missed the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, failing to cash in winning tickets within the three-month deadline. A total of NT$29.68 million in prizes went unclaimed.
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