`Lotto mania' hits the poor harder than it hits the rich


Sat, Mar 30, 2002 - Page 18

The lottery craze is more widespread among low-income people than among higher-paid ones, according to the results of a survey entitled Work & Money released yesterday.

The telephonic survey of 943 employed adults randomly chosen from around the nation, conducted from Feb. 27-March 3 by Cheers magazine found that 62 percent of the respondents have bought tickets for Taiwan's state-sponsored computerized lottery.

The poll results show that, while more than 60 percent of those who earn less than NT$400,000 a year have bought lotto tickets, only 25 percent of those whose annual income is over NT$5 million, have given it a try.

Nearly 58 percent of all lottery punters said they spend less than NT$100 each time, at NT$50 per bet, according to the survey. Only 3 percent said they spend NT$1,000 to NT$10,000 on ticket purchases each time, but 80 percent of these made less than NT$1 million a year.

Analyzing the survey findings, a Cheers executive said that, although it is billed as a "public welfare" lottery, it seems to have caused a situation of "taking money from the poor to benefit the rich."

An unexpected finding was that only 12 percent said they would immediately quit their jobs if they were to win the jackpot, while 81 percent said they wouldn't resign.

A cross-analysis showed that 79 percent of those who said they would quit their jobs immediately after winning the jackpot made less than NT$1 million annually. "Nearly all of them feel that work is simply a means of making money," said the Cheers executive. "Therefore, once they have money they would not work."

According to the poll, the average amount of winnings that the respondents think would make them feel free enough to only take up jobs in which they are truly interested, is NT$44.37 million.

While 27 percent said they could be carefree with NT$1 million, 24 percent said they would need a stash of NT$5 million to secure a sense of "security." About 19 percent said they would need NT$10 million, 20 percent said they would need NT$50 million and 4 percent said they would need more than NT$100 million.

Asked what they would most like to do should they win the jackpot, 25 percent said they would travel around the world; 12 percent said they would dedicate themselves to "public welfare" jobs to help other people and society; 9 percent they would only pray for good health, peace of mind and a stable family life.

The survey also explored local people's views on work and money and found that 67 percent said money is just for satisfying their basic daily needs. The three most important working conditions cited by those surveyed were stability (25 percent), pay (19 percent) as well as the significance and value of the work itself.

Thirty percent said they would find the greatest satisfaction if they could freely exercise their talent; 29 percent said their greatest desire is to decide themselves about how they should carry out their work; 12 percent said they desire to have the power to make important decisions; and 8 percent said they want to have the power to make policy for their work units.