The sole winner of Monday night’s NT$1.12 billion (US$35.07 million) lottery jackpot had not claimed the prize as of yesterday afternoon, but the Taitung lottery shop that sold the winning ticket has been flooded with congratulatory telephone calls and ticketbuyers. Shopkeeper Ting Chang-min (丁昌明) said he had no idea who bought the winning ticket, but it was likely someone in the neighborhood because most of his customers were locals. The winner has three months to claim the jackpot. Ting said many people bought tickets and had their pictures taken in front of his shop yesterday, hoping for some good luck. Monday’s jackpot was so big because there hadn’t been a winner in 22 consecutive draws. The winner will receive NT$896 million after tax — a record for a single winner. The previous record was NT$1.9 billion, which was shared by two people in 2008.
Kaohsiung urges pet shots
The Kaohsiung City Government is offering a subsidy for rabies vaccinations of dogs and cats to mark World Rabies Day. Economic Development Bureau Director-General Liu Hsin-cheng (劉馨正) said pets could receive a rabies shot for NT$100 at 105 animal hospitals in the city through Oct. 31. Liu said the plan was expected to help raise vaccination rates. Chu Chia-te (朱家德), director of the city’s Institute for Animal Health, said there are about 70,000 dogs in the city and transmission of rabies cannot be completely prevented unless the vaccination rate reaches 70 percent. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control, Taiwan is one of only seven “rabies free” countries in the world. The last case of animal rabies was reported in 1961. No human case has been reported since 2002, when a Taiwanese contracted the disease in China. Before that, the last human case reported was in 1959, the Web site says.
Hearings on NHI reform set
Department of Health (DOH) Minister Yaung Chih-liang (楊志良) said yesterday that public hearings would be held on national health insurance (NHI) system reform proposals, including drug prices, financial expenditure and co-payments. The legislature will screen the bill in December. Yaung said he is worried the bill would be shelved again after it failed to clear the legislature during last month’s provisional session. Chu Tong-kuang (曲同光), deputy convener of the department’s task force on insurance premiums, said he hoped the meetings could resolve controversy over whether to include income generated from financial markets or real estate when calculating household income, which is used to determine premiums.
Storm alert issued
The Central Weather Bureau issued an alert yesterday for a tropical depression. As of 6pm yesterday, the center of the tropical depression was 220km southeast of Taitung, moving west at 10kph. Lin Hsiu-wen (林秀雯), deputy director of the Weather Forecast Center, said the depression did not have a good structure, but was very close to Taiwan and likely to turn into a tropical storm. The tropical depression would bring showers and thundershowers to southern, southeastern, eastern and central Taiwan today, it said. Chances of showers and thundershowers are also high in the north and northeast, the bureau said, adding that strong winds were likely to hit areas along the east coast.