Oct 23, 2010

A Peak at Japan's Lottery

As a true blue inquisitive blogger, I decided to find out more about Japan's lottery, also known as 宝くじ. I visited a counter today and had a lesson on the various lottery options by the staff.

Here's a list of differences I have spotted between Japan's lottery and Singapore's:

1. Queue
First, the counter is usually a one-man show, and there are no queues, at least from the 2 counters I have observed at 2 different shopping centres. This is a huge contrast to Singapore's lottery counters.

Maybe the Japanese are more interested in pachinko.

2. Types
Japan offers about 2 kinds of lottery, Loto (which is similar to our Toto) and Numbers (which is similar to our 4D).

There are 2 types of Loto: Loto 6 with 6 numbers and Mini Loto with 5 numbers. If you get at least 3 numbers correct, you win. 3 numbers win 1000yen. Similar to Singapore's Toto, the first prize money can be rolled over if there are no winners.

For numbers, there are also 2 types: Numbers 4 (which is similar to our 4D) and Numbers 3, which consists of just 3 numbers. What is different is, you pay 200yen regardless of whether you are just buying it as it is or with permutations. The difference is in the prize money when you win. Of course, with permutations, the prize money will be lesser. Each time, only 1 set of numbers is announced, hence, it is actually quite hard to win the prize. (If you win without permutations, the prize is 900,000yen!) Btw, there are 2 types of permutations- Box and Set.

3. Frequency
Toto is twice a week in Singapore, but in Japan, it is only once a week.

4D is thrice a week in Singapore, but in Japan, it is five times a week.

How to play?
It is very similar to Singapore's, first fill up an OSA, by shading. The only difference and probably the confusion is 口数 (kuchi kazu) and 回数 (kaisuu). 口数 refers to the amount of money (or number of times of 200yen) you want to bet; 回数 refers to the number of rounds you want to bet on with the same number(s).

Mmm.. kinda of interesting to me. Guess wherever you go, there will be lottery, and they will be pretty similar. Since we all like to buy a hope, and wish that maybe one day we can win a free lunch.

But remember, as the Chinese saying goes, 小赌怡情,大赌伤身, betting on lotteries once in a blue moon is small excitement to the otherwise dull life, but to be addicted to it, will mean great troubles.

Have fun! Good Luck!