The hongkong lottery is operated by the hong kong jockey club (HKJC). The organization is best known for horse racing, but it also runs a lottery as an additional business. Players pick 6 numbers from a pool of 1 to 49, and the winner needs to match all six numbers plus the bonus number in order to win the jackpot prize. Tickets can be purchased at HKJC branches, online and via mobile apps. Winnings need to be claimed within 60 days and are paid as tax-free lump sums.
The first prize is usually in the range of HK$8 million to HK$100 million, and there are special “snowball” draws throughout the year that add money to the jackpot. These are often held to celebrate unique festivals and holidays in the city.
A large part of the money is distributed to charities and community projects. In the 2009-2010 financial year, the Trust donated HK$1.52 billion to some 107 charities and community projects. The remainder of the money is used for operational costs and to support research on gambling addiction.
Some people are concerned that putting so much emphasis on winning the lottery may encourage young people to start gambling as well. They say that the massive prizes give gamblers false hope and can trigger their pathological gambling problems. They are calling on responsible betting organizations to take steps to protect people from such risks.
According to a customs source, around 600 of the 16,000 Mark Six tickets seized during the anti-smuggling operation won various prizes worth up to HK$70,000. They are being kept in a secure storage facility for further checks. The HKJC says it will seek legal advice on how to proceed with the ticket winners.
Many of the smugglers who were arrested in connection with this case were trying to sell their winning tickets abroad, particularly in Macau and China. Those who were caught are now being investigated under the law for illegal import and export of smuggled goods.
HK01 reports that, in addition to the winning lottery tickets, the smugglers were also carrying high-end electronic devices, such as smartphones and tablets. Smuggling electronics is a serious offense in Hong Kong, where it can result in a fine of up to $254,800 and seven years in prison.
Travelers wishing to visit Hong Kong can enter a lottery starting March 1. The first round of free air tickets will go to travelers from Southeast Asia, followed by residents of mainland China in April, and then people from all other countries and territories in May. The giveaway will continue until the end of this summer. Travelers from all over the world can enter the lottery on the Hong Kong Tourism Board’s website. The results will be announced on August 1. The free tickets will be valid for three months and can be used with any airline that operates flights to Hong Kong. The winning tickets can also be used to book Hong Kong hotel rooms and buy local attractions.