When the China Welfare Lottery was set up in 1987, it was mainly for collecting funds for social welfare. During the past 28 years, it has grown rapidly and become one of the world’s largest by sales volume. It has collected RMB 1.17 trillion in total and contributed over RMB 360 billion to charities. Compared to the Nation’s other lottery, the China Sports Lottery, founded in 1994 to benefit national sports teams, the welfare lottery is more popular.
To attract players, different games were created over the years. There are five strains, including lotto, keno, instant games, video lottery, and many others that are issued in provinces and cities. The Union Lotto, launched in 2003, is one of the most popular nationwide. Six numbers from 1 to 33 are chosen for the red balls and one special number from 1 to 16 is chosen for the blue ball. You can choose your own numbers or use the quick pick option. You can also use the combo option which is mixing red and blue balls on the play slip to win different prizes. The grand prize is won by matching all the numbers, the second is for matching all red. Drawing takes place every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.
Against some rumors, foreigners can play as well. Though not many, some foreigners are pretty into the game. In 2014, a Korean living in Qingdao won RMB 66,400. In 2013, a Filipino in Chongqing won RMB 20,320, the best prize he got from his eight years of play. In 2012, a Malaysian in Weifang, Shandong Province was so into the game, he bought RMB 10 every week for a few years and ended up winning RMB 665,993.
The lottery market has nurtured not only amateur players, but also full-timers, or so-called “analysts.” Many of them are active in online forums and provide advice for upcoming lottery results. If you pay RMB 15, you will get exclusive tips on what numbers to choose. Many experienced players will keep choosing one or several sets of their favorite numbers until they win.