The History of the Thai Lottery
Thai lottery tickets were first issued during the reign of King Rama V when he authorised the royal bodyguard to sell lottery tickets on his birthday in 1874. From then on lotteries were held sporadically until 1933 when the government decided to use lotteries as a source of revenue.
The price of Thai lottery tickets initially cost one baht but over the years the price has risen to 80 baht which it is now and will continue to be since the military government decreed that the price will not exceed that amount. This mandate was set in June 2015 and in August 2015 the jackpot bonus prize was eliminated.
Purchasing of Thai Lottery Tickets
Thai Lottery tickets are available for purchase from various vendors, local ticket stands and retail outlets across the country. The price for one lottery ticket is 40 baht, however the tickets are only sold in pairs, which is why the actual price is 80 baht. Even though the official price is 80 Baht, certain vendors put a mark-up on the price, for instance if the numbers are considered lucky the mark-up price will be higher than those with unlucky numbers.
In Thailand the playing lottery is extremely popular, with about 19.2% of the population buying tickets. 61.3% of the players are mainly from a low income range, even though the averages of winning is 21% less than winning at horse racing, the only other legal form of gambling in Thailand.
The Thai Lottery Live Draw
The televised Thai Lottery draw takes place two times a month at the Government Lottery Office headquarters. The first draw takes place on the first of the month while the second draw takes place on the 16th of the month. Results of the Thai lottery draw are also viewable on the government lottery website.
The televised live draw features ten guests who assist in the draw by first inspecting the machines. The draw chairman then selects one random machine and the coloured balls which will indicate the order of the prizes. After the draw has taken place the remaining balls are removed from the machine to provide proof that all possible numbers were present.
The Prizes and Lottery Funds
When the prize money is less than 20,000 baht the player can collect his winnings at a retail vendor, if the prize is greater than 20,000 the winner must personally go to the Government Lottery office and hand in the winning ticket where a cheque will be given to the winner. All winning prizes must be collected within two years of the date of the draw.
The revenues of the Thai Lottery are split up into three divisions where 60% is used as prize money, 28% is state revenue and 12% for cost of sales and administration costs.
Up to 4 billion baht a year gets generated for various charities including the Thai Red Cross, scholarships and smaller charities. The sale of tickets also gives job opportunities to disabled people thereby improving their quality of life, although the Chairman of the Government Lottery Office board advised that ticket sellers should try to sell tickets as a supplementary career and not be solely dependent on selling tickets as an income.