Wed, Feb 09, 2011 - Page 1 News List

Lottery fever sweeps across nation as Big Lotto breaks record

TO BE A BILLIONAIRE:Long lines formed outside lotto ticket vendors, with tourists from Macau, Hong Kong and China joining in with the hope of a big win

By Crystal Hsu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Lottery fever swept Taiwan yesterday after the Big Lotto jackpot was expected to exceed NT$1.8 billion (US$62.2 million) after nine consecutive rollovers, the Taiwan Lottery Co (台灣彩券公司) said yesterday.

Young professionals, blue--collar workers, housewives and students lined up outside lotto ticket booths nationwide before the 8:30pm drawing with the hopes of cashing in on the record-setting jackpot.

Lottery Co manager Huang Chih Yi (黃志宜) said the frenzy also spread to tourists from China, Hong Kong and Macau.

“The prize is simply too huge to resist,” he said.

The winning numbers were 05, 06, 23, 31, 41, according to local cable TV network UBN, the sole outlet contracted to broadcast the live drawing.

Taiwan Lottery said five winners would share the NT$1.8 billion jackpot.

Lotto vendors reported ticket sales seven times higher than the same period last year, with stakes totaling more than NT$1 million at four betting stations, UBN said.

Earlier in the day, many betters paid last-minute visits to the -temples of the God of Fortune across Taiwan in the hopes of boosting their chances of winning the grand prize, local cable TV -outlets showed.

Others pooled together their betting money to better realize their dreams of becoming billionaires.

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