American-style lottery jackpot finds fifth winner in Vietnam

By Thanh Thanh Lan   November 27, 2016 | 09:59 pm GMT+7

The $2.4-million win was announced on Sunday following a $2.5-million jackpot from a week ago.

Vietlott, the operator of an American-style lottery, announced Sunday that someone has won VND54.89 billion (nearly $2.4 million).

The winning numbers are 12 – 16 – 17 – 18 – 22 – 30, according to the company's website.

This is the fifth winner since mid-October. The value of previous jackpots ranged from $2.5 million to more than $4 million. 

Vietlott’s sales revenue rose 4.6 times in less than two months, to VND734 billion ($32.1 million) as of November 20, from just VND159 billion on September 30, Nguyen Thanh Dam, deputy director of the state-run company told a press briefing last Wednesday.

Sales from its major jackpot game, the Mega 6/45, were VND730.5 billion ($31.9 million), or 99.5 percent of the total revenue.

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

The Mega 6/45 is the company's first foray into the market and will be followed by other services.

The name Mega 6/45 explains it all: 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 prize will keep growing until there is a winner. The odds of winning have been estimated at around one in 8.14 million.

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

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 have decided to raise the top prize by 33 percent to VND2 billion, starting next year.

Vietnam's average annual income was around $2,100 last year, according to the World Bank.

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