Always a winner: MOF rakes in NT$3.5B in unclaimed lottery wins
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-05-06 02:53 PM
The Taiwan Lottery disclosed Monday that it has turned over a total of nearly NT$35.34 billion to the Ministry of Finance, winnings in the past seven years that have gone unclaimed. The size of the prizes ranges from a NT$250 million winning that was left unclaimed at the end of last year to NT$100 prizes for scratch-and-win tickets that were never turned in.

General Manager Huang Chih-yi of Taiwan Lottery noted that the unclaimed windfall included the first prize in a special scratch-and-win contest featuring red envelopes priced at NT$2600 a pop. No one came forward to claim the top prize of NT$2.6 billion and the winnings have been handed over to the MOF.

According to Taiwan Lottery statistics, during the seven years of the lottery’s third version of operations, overdue unclaimed prize money has added up to NT$3.534 billion, including a NT$250 million prize for a ticket purchased in Taipei’s Datong District and one for NT$199 million for a ticket bought by someone in Kaohsiung’s Xiaogang District. Those and other winnings will now go to the Ministry of Finance, mostly to fund welfare activities.

Huang noted that on April 15 this year two jackpots of NT$50 million each went unclaimed in Tainan and Kaohsiung. The total winnings of NTS100 million will revert to the MOF unless someone comes forth with a winning ticket.

Huang added that the NT$2.6 billion bonanza was announced before the lunar New Year this year. It was sold through the Nantou Branch of Chinatrust CTBC Bank, reportedly through someone selling tickets on the street.

Huang noted that the lottery’s special scratch-and-win issues have garnered a lot of attention, pointing out that the higher the cost of a single ticket the more likely it is to attract buyers. The super red envelope edition selling at NT$2000 a shot was completely sold out in five days.

Huang said that recently some dealers have suggested the lottery should issue a special scratch-and-win edition priced at NT$5000. Huang did not comment on that possibility but did say the lottery is considering an issue with NT$3000 tickets.

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