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Man misses 1 billion yuan jackpot by single number

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National lotteries are big business in China, with jackpots occasionally increasing to astronomical levels. Just ask the Kunming man who recently walked away with a sizable fortune only to realize he had narrowly missed out on a one billion yuan bonanza.

The winner, who has only been identified in media reports as 'Mr Lottery', was in the middle of his daily routine when he realized his good fortune. On his way to work last week, Mr Lottery, as he does daily, stopped to purchase tickets at a China Sports Lottery (中国体育彩票) counter near his home. He checked his ticket from the day before and discovered six of the seven numbers matched the winning combination.

After checking with a worker at the gambling center, Mr Lottery figured out he had won 8.85 million yuan (US$1.44 million). He immediately set out to claim the prize at the lottery headquarters on Qianxing Lu. After a day-long verification process, Mr Lottery was presented with an oversized check by lottery officials at a public ceremony.

And that's when local media started in with the questions. It appears no one thought to ask what Mr Lottery planned to do with his newfound wealth, or at least publish his answers. Instead press queries focused almost entirely on how he felt missing out on a massive one billion yuan (US$163 million) jackpot by one number.

The newly minted millionaire apparently took the questions in stride and optimistically plans to continue playing the lottery, telling reporters:

Everyday I felt like I could become a billionaire, and yes, today I came up short one number and missed out on several hundred million yuan, but hopefully I can win the jackpot the next time around.

Although he did not win the grand prize, Mr Lottery is nearly nine million yuan richer and significantly more fortunate than the winner of a similar amount in 2013. Last year, the Sports Lottery sold a ticket worth five million yuan (US$816,000). Following a frantic search for the winner that included newspaper and radio pleas for the owner to come forward, a deadline passed and the money went unclaimed.

A study by Beijing Normal University estimated 200 million people in China regularly play the lottery. In 2012, mainland gamblers spent more than 250 billion yuan on China's two lotteries combined. That same year, people in Yunnan bought four billion yuan worth of Sports Lottery tickets.

Image: Starlott

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Money means power, and wealth is a form of power over others. What's the justification of awarding it to somebody on the basis of having picked one number rather than another?

power/wealth is not necessarily a bad thing.

good luck, bad luck, fortune, misfortune. getting money for doing nothing for past good deeds, god works in mysterious ways, ...

How bout the necessary flip side: powerlessness and poverty? Mysterious or systematically programmed?

It's better to be rich than poor. If you're rich you can have and help so much. Many people are abused because they have no money and money equals power. For example, many wives stay with their abusive husband because they have no financial ability to get out. They are essentially trapped.

alien, not sure why all the poverty exists. i have some vague quack theories, but i'll spare the gokm community.

That's tantalizingly close to a story

Greed - He wins 9 million but the article is about what he Could Have won. Greed never ends. I am sure the farmer will buy all he can but his children will not go to better schools. He will just build a bigger house in his village to show off. Look in a lottery store and you will see the people spend hours in there staring at the previous numbers trying to figure out the magic formula for the next winning numbers. Most people spend moe money then they wil ever win. Sick!

winning a lottery is greed? one of the tags is "lucky". it's luck is all it is. greed is one of the deadly sins. and so is envy at someone getting richer than you.

dont talk about luck here, i almost won 3x the second prize in a whole lifetime. bad luck is i ave to change a number always at the end of picking the numbers. one was 400k, another was close to 200k and 66k. look at me now still looking at it like im born with no luck

@Liumingke: On the other hand, if you're rich you can also have so much and not help. By what right are you given this choice while others are denied it? Wealth and poverty, power and powerlessness define each other.

human beings have many lifetimes. if you have power and abuse it, you will eventually need to experience powerlessness to balance it out.

@Magnifico: Oh, I see - justice all descends on us automatically, huh. Remind me when this got started, I must have been asleep.

Or are you seriously referring to reincarnation? I could take this seriously as well, but I think my conclusions would be pretty much the same - Waiting for Godot just means...waiting.

sorry, you lost me.

so i guess i'm the only person who believes that some people deserve to win the lottery. everyone else thinks everyone should work 9 to 5 in a glue factory and make exactly the same salary.

ok, that's wonderful.

winning the lottery is luck - playing the lottery is Greed. As Bugs Bunny would say - What a Maroon!

what's up, doc? this is trash journalism anyway. who cares if someone won some money? good for him. it doesn't affect my life.

@Magnifico: To some extent, all lives affect all lives. I don't know what it has to do with trash journalism. And I don't think everyone should work from 9 to 5 for the same salary.

i'm guessing that people don't do the lotery coz they are greedy. they do it for a bit of fun and also some hope in the less than idylic lives we lead. if nobody ever won then no one would do it, so winning keeps the daydream/game alive. the greedy ones are those who run the lottery, unless the lottery is state run and supports charitable works. then it allows funding for some good works that wouldnt otherwise happen. as for missing the lottery by one number, lots of people have enjoyed that one of billions of numbers combination that didn't win, no big deal.

Greedy to me are Sam Walton's (WalMart) children who are now worth in the range of 35 billion each and do not pay their employees a livable wage.

@Dazzer, I agree that lotteries are sort of a fun game for many. However, they have been labelled as a tax on the poor.

i can see that alien. mostly the poor who do it, but not out of greed

Most people are Not able to make the paradigm shift and this is why the world does not change. I for one have no idea what to do with 9 billion - Insane! But my life would forever change with 1 million. Think about how many 1 Millions are in 9 Billion.

The state owned lottery builds the old people's gym equipment you find in the parks - Wow!

Just like BINGO in the USA, you keep calling the numbers until there is a winner. Rather than have one 9 billion winner you can have 10 or 50 1 million winners. People can have better lives and the state still makes a profit. But Greed prevents this from ever happening!

50 people with 1 million can change many peoples lives (family or friends) as opposed to one winner of 9 billion that only happens once in a blue moon.

Go to any poor neighborhood in the US and you will find a liquor store and a check cashing store in every corner. Go to any residential area here in Kunming and you will find a lotter store in every corner as well.

Lottery gives people False hope and it is their greed that makes them sit in the store staring at the next magical numbers for hours.

It's not that the poor play the lottery because they're greedy, it's that greed is the basis of the whole system of exploitation/'suck-cess' and control of production/distribution that assures there will be few rich/powerful and many poor/weak. So the poor pay for gym equipment in parks for the elderly, who are not too well-off either.
@HFCampo: what makes you think the world doesn't change? When did history stop?

"I for one have no idea what to do with 9 billion - Insane!"

- fund medical research
- finance the protection of endangered species...

History Never stops - It is just written by the winners (rich) and history never changes. Cut social programs and give more money to the military. Ask people at random, Was Hugo Chavez and Gadaffi good or bad? Now wait to hear their response.

Can someone name one rich person who helps the less fortunate. I really am interested in hearing this answer.

i heard of a wealthy chinese guy setting up a school in a rural area once. these types of people are probably few and far between, though.

for those who are to idle to do thir own googling en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_philanthropists
Name Amount given Cause
Warren Buffett $30.7 billion Healthcare, extreme poverty, education, access to information technology
Bill Gates $29.0 billion Healthcare, education, AIDS-prevention, sanitation
Li Ka-shing $10 billion Education, healthcare
Chuck Feeney $6.2 billion Healthcare, youth, ageing, poverty, human rights
George Soros $6 billion Health care, anti-Fascist publications, human rights, economic, legal, and social reform
Azim Premji $2 billion Education, healthcare
Howard Hughes $1.56 billion Healthcare

@HFCampo: in your history research you might notice a number of changes in the world over the past 2000 or 200 years, or perhaps over the past 2 minutes, and that even history written by 'the rich' makes a note of these changes.
@Dazzer: the system that put all that wealth in the hands of the people you mention is the same system that created the problems these people now have been empowered to decide to influence, as THEY choose, in one way or another. I didn't choose to give them this power to decide where money should go, did you?

I laugh at the ridiculous examples given of philanthropy. Obviously written by someone who has no idea of what is going on in the world. Rich people do not go to jail, they just pay fines. When a rich person or a company pays a fine it means they are GUILTY. When rich people kill and murder innocent people they are not called murders and go to jail, they merely pay a fine. Maybe you can google some of the many examples of rich not going to jail and only paying fines.

why boyher to even ask questions if you are nto interested in answers. or are you just trollin

@Dazzer: But I am interested in answers, and what they indicate (e.g., when few people acquire enormous amounts of wealth, influence, power and publicity and then give some of it to causes that THEY choose, what does this indicate? And what does it indicate to recognize that they can choose NOT to do so and be protected by the law?).

I was looking for an intelligent answer but instead I got a reply from someone with his Eyes Wide Shut.

@HFCampo: what was your question - about Qadhafi and Chavez?

What do you do HFCAMPO that justifies your existence as a clearly well off foreigner in a relatively poor area of the world?

Your answer better include working with orphaned drug addicted lepers or you may just fall off your high horse.

And how do/did you make the money you have? It better not have been through the capitalist system you so despise...

Well off foreigner = Assumption on your part, I have been poor all my life. Most people value money and think being successful means having money and toys. I am blessed in many ways and I share what I have with others as best I can.

Relatively poor area of the world = China has the 2nd highest GDP in the world. China has many high Speed Trains - Kunming will have 2 by 2016 - USA has none.

My horse seems high to you merely because of perspective. Suggest you get off your low donkey.

We all need money to survive in this world but money is NOT my main purpose in life. By controlling your needs and minimizing your wants most people can live very happy lives. I dont need to eat at Salvadores or McDonalds every day or go shopping at Metro. I need water to live but I do not need beer or pepsi.

If you are truly interested in what I do then send me a civil invite via PM so we can meet and talk and then your curiosity can be satisfied. Most reasonable people find it hard to be uncivil after meeting, regardless of differences.

I aren't in Kunming for the foreseeable future, just left.

Clearly you aren't interested in answering the question, I withdraw it in the face of the inane/inept responses that you have provided. I suggest you stop telling others how to think/behave if you can't provide thoughtful, respectful advice/experience yourself.

@blobbles, no one needs to 'justify' being well-off ... unless the gains are ill-gotten.

@Magnifico: How do you define 'ill-gotten' - do you simply mean illegal?

adjective: acquired by dishonest, improper, or evil means

@Magnifico: Your definition, I think, would include the perfectly legal operations of many legal companies & organizations, so maybe one might criticize laws that allow them to operate and make the perpetrators 'well-off'? Anyway, 'well off' covers a lot of territory, include the wealth of the 1%. (anyway, we are both begging the question of what is improper and what is evil.

what about paving paradise and putting up a parking lot? is that improper?

"True prosperity always furthers the collective good." — Visionary I Ching Hexagram 14

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