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Lotto’s “Korean Dream”

Posted July. 08, 2005 05:19,   


Do foreigners who win the Lotto receive prize money?

Until last year, four foreigners won first prize in the lottery and received about 16.6 billion won. This fact was recorded in data titled, “2000-2004 facts about lottery winnings by foreigners” that Dong-A Ilbo acquired.

Five foreigners have won the first prize of various lotteries.

In June, 2002, for the first time in Korea, a foreigner won the first prize of the Korean lottery. It was the 68th Technology Lottery with prize money of 100 million won.

Since December, 2002, when Lotto began, an increasing number of foreigners have bought tickets and some foreigners have won first prizes in lotteries.

On April 27th, 2003, a foreigner won the first prize of the 22nd Lotto for the first time and received 4.552 billion won.

Since then, a foreigner won the first prize of 6.899 billion won in the 42nd Lotto (September 14, 2003), 3.901 billion won in the 52nd (November 23, 2003), and 1.247 billion won in the 109th (December 26, 2004).

Under the current lottery law, foreigners enjoy the same benefits of lottery winnings as local people, and they can receive their prize money by showing their passports and foreigner registration certificates.

A Korean Lotto Dream-

An official of the lottery project team in Kookmin Bank, a lottery-selling agency, said, “We cannot tell you the nationalities of lottery winners for fear of revealing their identities.”

However, he added, “Among four foreigners of first prize winners, none of them are from developed countries and most of them returned to their home countries.” A foreign worker who worked in Korea for more than five years won the first prize in the Lotto and returned home rich. Another winner also returned home.

In May this year, there was a rumor that in Chungbuk, an illegal immigrant worker from Thailand won the Lotto. The foreign winner paid a fine and returned home with the remaining prize money.

An official of the lottery committee under the Office of the Prime Minister said, “Most foreign lottery winners returned to their countries since unlike some developed countries, in Korea, there is no regulation that lottery winners are given the right of permanent residence.”

Increasing Regular Customers-

A 31 year old from Bangladesh said, “I began to buy Lotto last year. I spend about 20,000 to 30,000 won a week buying Lotto tickets. I’ve won the fourth prize of 50,000 won four times and the fifth prize some 30 times.”

Lee (24, female), a lottery salesperson in Itaewon, Yongsan said, “A growing number of foreigners come to buy lottery tickets due to the rumor that a foreign worker from Southeast Asia won second prize and took home tens of millions of won.”

Kwon (38), the owner of a store that sells lottery tickets, said, “Some 30 foreigners on average from the Asia region came to buy lottery tickets every week.”