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The Thai State Lottery

Anybody can play and win the state lottery in Thailand, you don’t have to be Thai. The results of the lottery are announced on the 1st and 16th of every month and prizes must be claimed within two years of the draw and they are subject to 0.5% tax

In general Thai people do not just randomly pick numbers, they pick them from dreams they have had, from their home address or license plates or those of an influential person, the age of relatives that have passed away, from consulting somebody thought to be able to predict the future such as a monk or by interpreting numbers from unusual things such as mushroom that has grown into an odd shape.  Some Thai people go to the temple to pray for the right numbers

lottery 7Lottery tickets are brought from vendors the standard price of a ticket is 80 baht. Each ticket has two parts, the top and the bottom. It is not possible to buy just one part as they come in pairs, but if you win your prize is doubled.

Each ticket has six single digits; you can choose your numbers when you buy one.

The first prize is 2,000,000, second prize is 100,000, third prize is 40,000, fourth prize is 20,000, fifth prize is 10,000. An extra prize of 50,000 is given for the numbers that are closest to the first prize, there is a 2,000 baht prize if you get the last three digits and a 1,000 baht prize for the last two digits.

In the Thai lottery there is one first prize, five second prizes, ten third prizes, fifty fourth prizes, one hundred fifth prizes, two bonus prizes, four thousands prizes for three number and ten thousand prizes for two numbers.

If you win a prize, you’ll have to go to the GLO (Government Lottery Office) where you will receive a cheque. However, if the prize is less than 20,000 baht, you can go to a local agent and he/she will give the money to you in cash. There is tax, which you’ll have to pay in order to get the money. The nominal rate is 50 satang (0.5 baht) for every one hundred baht. If you cash your money at a local agent, they’ll normally charge you about 2 baht for every one hundred baht.

A history of the Lottery

Lottery tickets were first issued in the reign of King Rama V. At that time the King granted the Royal Bodyguard Department permission to operate a lottery on the occasion of his birthday in 1874. The first office was at the Concadia Building in the compound of the Grand Palace, which is presently the Sahathai Association followed the European system. Mr.Alabasder is considered as the founder of the lottery in Thailand.

Following the year 1874, a lottery was issued occasionally whenever needed.
1874, The lottery was first issued on the occasion of King Rama V’s birthday. Mr.Alabaster was appointed Director of the Lottery Office. The number of tickets prints was 20,000 and each was sold at the price of one tamlueng (equivalent to 4 baht). However, the total sales were only 4,930 tickets. So, the cash prizes were reduced to correspond with the amount sold.

1917, During the First World War, England, an allied country, wanted to borrowed money from Thailand. However, the British Government was afraid that if it took the loan directly from the Thai Government, this would affect the monetary stability of Thailand. Thus, the British Government, with the consent of the Thai Government, issued lottery tickets. There were many prizes offered and the amount paid for each was high attract to buyers. Each tiLottery 6cket was sold at 5 baht. It the number of tickets sold did not reach the target, the prize money the prize money would be increased accordingly. The sale was very successful, as more tickets were sold than required. The lottery drawing was conducted at the British Embassy in December, 1917. The issuance of lottery tickets by the British Government was carried on till 1918.

1918, A winter fair was held to celebrate King Rama VI’s birthday. While the winter fair was being held, the City Police Department and the Winter Fair Committee issued lottery tickets to raise funds for the Siam Red Cross and Sua Pa Volunteer Unit. At the same time, the British Government was also authorized to issue lottery tickets in Thailand. Simple devices were used for drawing prizes. The numbers 0-9 were put in a brass container. Then, the numbers were hand drawn from the container.

1923, King Rama VI granted special permission to issue lottery tickets to raise funds to buy guns for the Sua Pa Volunteer Unit. The number of tickets printed was one million and were sold at one baht each. At first, ticket drawings were scheduled once a year. The 1923 issue was drawn in 1924. Later, the drawing was made three times a year. However, the Sua Pa lottery ceased its operation because corruption was found.
Guns bought from this fund were named after King Rama VI. After the King passed away, the Sua Pa Volunteer Unit stopped its activities and the Rama VI guns were transferred to the possession of the Police Department

1933, After the issuance of the Sua Pa lottery, the lottery operation ceased for 10 years. In 1933, the Government, again, started issuing lottery tickets as follows:

1. Siam Red Cross lottery The objective was to raise funds for charitable activities as well as other public uses. The number of tickets printed was 500,000 and each was sold at one baht. The drawing was made at the Saranrom Royal Garden on April 1, 1933. Devices used in drawing were changed from a container to a drawing wheel. The drawing attracted much attention from the public. 

2. Siam Government lottery As the lottery enjoyed widespread popularity and succeeded in raising funds for public use, the Government decided to run it again. This time, it was called the Siam Government lottery. The number of tickets printed reached 1,000,000. The ticket price was one baht each. The drawing was conducted at the Saranrom Royal Garden.

3. Revenue lottery of the Siam Government In 1933, the Government, under the leadership of Phraya Paholpolpayuhasena, wanted to reduce a draft-deferment tax rate. In doing so it had to find funds from other sources to compensate for that amount. The Government decided to issue a lottery to raise funds for that purpose. The Revenue Department was authorized to run the operation. A large number of tickets were printed for sale. In order to monopolize the lottery operation, the Government enacted the Gambling Act. The Government lottery enjoyed popularity throughout the country. All tickets were sold by the time specified. At the first drawing, winners were from 68 of the 70 provinces of the country.

1934, The regular Government lottery was run by the Revenue Department as the Government needed more funds for various purposes. The drawings for winning numbers were made periodically, 3-4 times a year. In this year, besides attracting eager buyers with low incomes who did not earn wages or salaries regularly, the Revenue Department issued a special lottery to evoke interest of those who were wealthy or earned a regular salary.

The Ministry of Interior was also authorized to run a special lottery to funds for municipal activities. The prize drawing dates were held in the months in which there was no drawing for the lottery issued by the Revenue Department in order not to compete with each other. There were two kinds of municipal lottery, namely:

1. General municipal lottery This type of lottery tickets was sold throughout the country. The proceeds were allocated for the construction of buildings, such as hospitals, schools and stadiums.

2. Provincial municipal lottery The proceeds of this type were allocated for various activities for the provinces. Bangkok and Thonburi were the first two munipalities to run this lottery together. The permanent lottery office was first constructed in front of the City Hall of Bangkok by the Ministry of interior. The construction budget was 4,000 baht.

1939, The Ministry of Interior trans-ferred control of the Government lottery to the Ministry to the Ministry of Finance on April 20, 1939 As the first Government lottery committee was appointed on April 5, 1939, by the Ministry of Finance, this date was taken as the foundation date of the Government Lottery Office. The office of the lottery committee was located at the City Hall of Bangkok and Thonburi, which was in front of the Ministry of Interior on the WatRajabopit side. This office is presently called the Government Lottery Office. The number of draws per year was changed from three times to once a month from June, 1939. The number of lottery tickets printed was 5,000,000 and they were sold for one baht each. lottery 1

1944, After 1044 the lottery sales steadily increased, as did prices. The price for each ticket was 2 baht in 1948. In 1948, it was increased to 3 and 4 baht, and each ticket was sold in parts costing one baht each. The ticket price was increased to 5 and 6 baht each in 1950 and 8 baht in 1952, and finally reached the present level of 10 baht. The increase of the ticket price matched the increase of prizes, which was expected to stimulate sales, and was to serve substantial income buyers. Low-income people were not expected to buy. However, they could share the cost of the lottery tickets with each other. The number of draws per month became two, three and four. By 1952,annual ticket sales had reached 159 million.  

1974, The number of ticket printed was 180 million per year.  

1975, The ticket sales reached 252 million and there were three draws per month.

1976, There was a popular form of illegal gambling, of which the winning numbers were based on the last three digits of the first-prize numbers, and on the number of the winning categories-3 digits and 2 digits. People were allured to gamble and were deceived. The Government, in order to solve the problem of illegal gambling, decreased the number of tickets printed per issue was 10 million and it was decided to draw prizes only fortnightly.(During the time when the number of tickets was decreased, Kor Khor or alphabet lottery reappeared illegally. People were deceived as there was an inconsistent drawing-dependent on the amount of money buyers put up at stake.) Whether this solution was appropriate was a controversy as the operation of the lottery was conducted in order to discourage the public from illegal gambling.

The function of the Government Lottery Office according to the Government Lottery Office Act

Since the Government lottery is a public concern is and a main source of state revenue, it was decided that the Lottery Bureau become a state enterprise with a legal identity. The Government Lottery Office Act B.E. 2517 was enacted on September 11, 1974, and became effective from October 1 of the same year. The Government Lottery Office has been given the following objectives:

1. Issuing Government lottery tickets.

2. Managing a printing office or facilitate the printing of government lottery tickets of other printed materials as approved by the Government Lottery Office committee for the purpose of security. At present, the printing office prints bus tickets for the Bangkok mass Transit Authority and postal orders for the Communications Authority of Thailand

3. Carrying out any other activities pertainlottery 2ing of beneficial to the operation of the Government Lottery Office

The proceeds received by the Government Lottery Office from the sale of lottery tickets will be allocated as follows:

1. 60 percent as prizes.

2. not less than 28 percent as state revenue

3. not exceeding 12 percent as expenditure on administration inclusive of the expense in respect of the sale of government lottery tickets -9 percent for sales discount and 3 percent for administrative costs

The lottery operation is presently well-established and enjoys widespread popularity. The operation has been able to develop and improve to meet the needs of the public because of feedback from the public and the press, which has been going on for 50 years since the beginning of the operation.

 How the lottery is drawn

For each drawing, GLO invites 10 honorable guests not only from private and public sectors but also media sector to witness the draw. One of them is, hereinafter, called “Draw Chairman” who supervises the draw by the following steps :

All draw members investigate all draw equipments thoroughly.

2. Draw Chairman randomly picks up one ball (number 1 to number 6) at a time to position and equip each draw set; number wheel and Ladkrabang 6 set (drawing container and ten drawing balls).lottery 3

3. Once the installation of all draw sets completed, all draw members recheck the readiness of all draw equipments. Draw Chairman specifies a starting number for all number wheels.

4. The Draw Chairman randomly selects a color ball at a time for which prize to be drawn before or after. These four color balls signify different prizes; yellow for the 2nd prize, pink for the 3rd prize, green for the 4th prize and blue for 5th prize.

5. Multipick Gem “6”, this electronic draw machine draws the 2nd and 3rd prizes. Once Draw Chairman presses ‘start’ button, the fan in the bottom blows the balls around the inside of the containers. As when all balls mixed well, the chairman would press ‘select all’ button and the winning numbers go up and out through individual tube. In case of machine malfunction or error, the number wheels are replaced and drawn for the winning numbers.

6. Drawing the 4th and 5th prize, GLO staffs will manually operate the number wheels by spinning them concurrently. When all six wheels stopped spinning, numbers appeared in each frame are the winning numbers.

7. After completion of the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th prizes, the Chairman randomizes six out of nine committees for drawing the last 3 digits and last 2 digits prizes and also the 1st prize. Besides, Chairman picks up the number badge for each committee to indicate their stage post.

8. The 3-digit, the 2-digit and the 1st prizes, an officer from the Office of Atoms for Peace checks all draw equipments for any suspicious radiation. Next, the draw officers will show balls numbering 1 to 5 and put in opaque container and close properly then drop each ball one by one and spin the wheel. The officers will redo the steps for the rest of balls from number 6 to 0 and spin to mix all balls well again.

9. There are 4 winning prizes of the lottery 43digits prizes and 1 winning prize of 2 digit prizes. Chairman picks up the rubber ball for each post.

10. The officers who stand at each post will keep spinning the wheel every times when the chairman raises the lever so the ball can put in at the front.

11. The officers at each post open the balls and show those balls to the committees and public.

12. After showing the number, the officer closes the balls and puts those balls in the wheel and then all the officers move to the next post. The chairman randomizes the post for the next prizes.

13. For the 1st prize, the officer will keep spinning the wheel as same as the drawing prizes of the 3 and 2 digits prizes. All 6 committees raise the lever so the ball can put in at the front.

14. Officers bring the transparency tray to chairman so he/she can put all the 6 balls in the wheels and then spin the wheels.lottery 5

15.  Next, chairman randomizes the rubber ball for each post in order to choose which post will be the drawing post by raising the lever then the ball dropped in order and put the ball at each post.

16. Officers open all the balls and show them to the committees and public. Then move forward to announce the 1st prize and the 2 closest prizes of the 1st prize.\ 17. Drawing the extra prize of the 1st prize in group I (unit 01-30), the prize is 30 million baht and in group II (unit 51-70), the prize is 20 million baht. The drawing procedures of these prizes use the device called “Saturn” which made from acrylic and it is round and transparent. This device can carry up to 100 balls from the number of 00-99, each one will have different color. Extra prize of the 1st prize will be drawn first by putting the balls number 01-30. The device will generate the air pressure system so the balls can be mixed and then the balls are floated to the above and streamed down to the side rails. Then the prize of group II will be drawn which uses the balls number 51-66 and follows the same procedures as the group I. If the device is fail to perform, the Lat Krabang 6/5 model will be used instead by raising the lever so the ball can drop to the tray in case of the drawing the prizes at the headquarter could not take place.

18. After complete all the drawing prizes, officers will take all the balls out of the devices to show the public that all the 10 numbers was in the wheels.

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