Eight lucky shoppers could each win a record NT$10 million (US$340,000) today, the new grand prize in the uniform invoice lottery draw, the Ministry of Finance said yesterday.
To date, the biggest prize in the bimonthly draw has been NT$2 million. However, in today’s draw, valid for receipts issued in January and last month, there will be eight grand prizes of NT$10 million each, the biggest jackpot in the invoice lottery’s 50-year history.
The bigger jackpot is aimed at encouraging the public to make sure they collect receipts for their purchases, part of a government effort to prevent stores from dodging sales taxes, the ministry said.
The ministry said a total of NT$7.9 billion — 3 percent of the annual sales tax revenue — had been budgeted for the six draws this year, an increase of NT$2.6 -billion from last year.
The probability of winning the grand prize is one in 100 million, and the chance of winning the next-biggest prize of NT$2 million has been cut from three in 100 million to one in 100 million, according to finance officials.
They estimate that all eight grand prizes up for grabs in todays draw will be won.
The chance of winning the smallest prize of NT$200 has been increased from three in 1,000 to five in 1,000. Overall, an additional 1.3 million winners, on average, are expected.
People who opt to receive their purchase invoices electronically will not be left out, because store owners are obliged to inform buyers of any win within three days of the draw, the ministry said.
One of the downsides to increasing the top prize in the lottery is likely to be greater reluctance on the part of the public to donate the invoices to charity groups, which usually set up receipt collection boxes in or outside stores.
Earlier this year, lawmakers raised this issue in the legislature and asked the ministry to review its cash prize policy and report back to the legislature in six months. The ministry said it was still studying the issue.
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