100m yuan lottery win sparks media frenzy

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 29 November, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 November, 2007, 12:00am

Mainland media has gone into overdrive over the news that an unidentified punter from remote Gansu province has become the biggest individual lottery winner by landing a 100 million yuan-plus jackpot in the latest government-controlled draw.

The man, believed to be in his 40s, spent 72 yuan on two sets of lottery tickets at an outlet for the 'Double Colour Ball Welfare Lottery' in Jiayuguan on Tuesday afternoon, claiming all but one of the top prizes, each worth around 5 million yuan, and several second prizes, the Western Economic Daily reported yesterday.

Li Zhenjie, the owner of the outlet, told the paper that the man had regularly bought lottery tickets at her stall over the past two years and arrived by car to buy the tickets on Tuesday.

The man has yet to come forward, but has up to 30 days from the time of the draw to claim the prize money, worth more than 91 million yuan after tax.

An official with the Jiayuguan civil affairs bureau, which administers the draw in the city, said yesterday that it had been ordered to make no further comment after being inundated with requests for interviews.

Regional news media has scrambled to send reporters to Gansu, one of the poorest provinces on the mainland, after news of the massive windfall broke.

Some mainland banks have asked Gansu lottery operators to help them find the winner so they can offer him their services, the provincial lottery centre said.

The Ministry of Civil Affairs introduced the lottery in 1987. The previous mainland record jackpot for a single player was set in October by a man in Heilongjiang who won 65 million yuan in pre-tax prize money.

Because of the huge payout, about 30 million yuan was left in the prize pool prompting the National Welfare Lottery Centre to inject 20 million yuan to boost public interest.