Vietnamese lottery player strikes it rich with record $5 mln jackpot

By Ngoc Tuyen   May 24, 2017 | 08:31 pm GMT+7

It's the biggest win for an individual since the American style lottery was launched in July last year. 

One lucky lottery player won a record jackpot of VND112.47 billion (nearly $5 million) on Wednesday, according to Vietlott, the operator of the American-style lotto.

After tax, the winner will be laughing all the way home with around VND101 billion after picking the winning numbers 08 - 20 - 25 - 27 - 30 - 33.

The jackpot beat the previous record awarded to a single ticketholder of VND92 billion set on October 16 last year.

But the highest jackpot was awarded on a Chrismas Day draw that saw two people splitting VND160 billion.

Since the start of the year, the jackpot has been fluctuating at around just VND40 billion.

In January last year, Vietlott signed an exclusive 18-year contract with Malaysian conglomerate Berjaya to launch computerized lottery games.

The Mega 6/45 game is the company's first foray into the market. Players select six numbers from 1 to 45 and win a jackpot that starts at VND12 billion ($538,000) by matching all six numbers from the draw. Each ticket costs VND10,000 (40 cents).

The jackpot keeps rolling over until there is a winner, and the odds of selecting the right numbers are around one in 8.14 million.

Vietnam does not generally allow its citizens to gamble, but lottery tickets are popular across the country.

Vietnamese people spent about $13 billion on lottery tickets from 2011 through 2015, helping the industry’s revenue to grow on average by 12 percent per year, according to a government agency.

The combined revenue from lottery companies in 21 southern provinces hit $3 billion last year, three-times higher than in 2007, Bloomberg cited Vietnam’s Ministry of Finance as saying.

Traditional lottery tickets in Vietnam have predetermined numbers printed on them, with the highest prize set at VND1.5 billion ($65,900).

Facing tough competition from Vietlott’s Mega game, the companies behind these traditional tickets decided to raise the top prize by 33 percent to VND2 billion in 2017.