Thai Lottery Review

Thai Lottery is the official national lottery of the Government of Thailand. It is administered by the Government Lottery Office, which is a public concern. The lottery draw is conducted twice a month on the first and sixteenth. Other than horse racing in Bangkok, the Thai Lottery is the only legalized gambling permitted in the country.

The payout ratio for this lottery is 60% and this makes it hugely popular in Thailand. About 19.2 million people in a population of 67 million play the government lottery. According to the Family Network Foundation, the total expenditure in the lottery in 2014 amounted to 76 million baht, which is equivalent to $2.3 billion.

The government lottery office is solely responsible for the printing and selling of tickets to wholesalers. The government has put in place strict laws forbidding other forms of gambling activities. The result of this has seen the government lottery office pocketing 28% of proceeds from lotteries that are dedicated to important state uses.

In terms of demographics, Thai women play the lottery oftentimes compared to men. In 2006, the percentage stood at 52.6% against 47.4%. A majority of gamblers are drawn from the working-age bracket of 21 to 30, 31 to 40, and 41 to 50. As with most countries, low-income gamblers are the majority in Thailand, amounting to 61.3%. This is because the Thai Lottery is seen as an opportunity to earn a life-changing prize.

Playing Thai Lottery

As mentioned above, the Government Lottery Office is the entity responsible for the printing of tickets which are then distributed to wholesalers and finally to local retailers. To play Thai Lottery, you have to buy tickets from retail agents. You can find lottery vendors even on streets, markets, and villages selling the tickets in their wooden ticket briefcases.

The lottery tickets come in pairs with a single ticket going for 40 baht. For the ticket pair, you have to part with 80 baht. When you buy a ticket pair from street vendors, you may pay anything between 120 and 130 baht and when you buy from shop stands, you pay 100 baht. This is because the official price is marked up by these vendors to cover their costs and margin.

Another interesting variation in ticket prices is between unpopular and Buddhist number combinations. Ticket pairs for unpopular numbers are much cheaper and between 85 and 95 baht while lucky Buddhist number combinations cost a lot more. The ticket prices are negotiable above the 80-baht threshold.

There are two types of tickets: Thai Government lottery tickets and Thai Charity lottery tickets. These two varieties are similar except for the fact that they differ in their first prize payouts and the tax levied on the winnings. The Thai Government lottery tickets attract the first prize of 2 million baht and an additional bonus prize of 30 million baht. The tax rate is 0.5%.

On the other hand, Thai Charity lottery tickets attract the first prize of 3 million baht and a bonus prize of 22 million baht. They are taxed at 1%.

Both tickets are preprinted and have a number of anti-counterfeiting features. A unit of tickets comprises 1 million single tickets. If all the tickets are sold, the published prize amounts are honored. However, if some of the tickets in the unit are not sold, the prizes are reduced proportionately. Each ticket has a schedule of prizes, conditions, and ancillary information at the back.

Thai Lottery Draw Methodology

Draws take place at the Government Lottery Office headquarters every month on the first and sixteenth. If either of these days falls on a public holiday, the draw is pushed forward to the next day. For transparency purposes, 10 guests are invited who act as official witnesses and must be unaffiliated with the lottery. The drawings are also televised live starting from 1500 to 1600 hrs.

Of the 10 guests, one was designated as the draw chairman. The first step is for the guests to inspect the equipment to be used, the numbers imprinted on the balls, and any anomalies that may create bias.

The draw chairman then selects balls at random to initialize the draw machines. By selecting a colored ball, the chairman determines the order of the lesser prize draws. The colors used in the drawing include yellow for the second prize, pink for the third prize, green for the fourth prize, and finally blue for the fifth prize.

For the second, third, fourth, and fifth prizes, 6-digit numbers are drawn. For the three-digit prize, 3-digit numbers are drawn. For the two-digit prize, a 2-digit number is drawn.

There is one draw for the 6-digit number designated as the first prize. The Thai Government lottery bonus prize of 30 million is determined by a two-digit number. A different two-digit number is also drawn for the 22 million baht Thai Charity Lottery bonus prize.

Following the draw, the officials remove the respective balls from the machines to prove to the observers that indeed 10 numbers were present.


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