Listen Now: Thai Lottery Booms: Superstition Spurs $1.2 Billion Revenue
Lottery revenue is up in Thailand, all thanks to a little superstition.
Over the past year, the state lottery contributed one point two billion dollars to the Bangkok government. That is the highest of any state-owned company and more than double the state energy company which is generally one of the highest contributors.
So why the uptick in people taking a little risk? The bark of an ancient tree that sits in a temple in central Bangkok. Hundreds of people are flocking to the dead tree trunk and wrapping it in flowers and other offerings. The visitors believe rubbing its bark will reveal winning lottery numbers.
One person believed he won more than two thousand dollars thanks to the tree, and that is just one of a number of minor prizes he believes the tree helped him win. Now lottery vendors are getting smart and setting up shop on almost every street corner and empty space located near the temple.
The lottery office says it is selling an average of ninety million tickets, to a country with just seventy million people.
CBS News Radio national business journalist Brian Banmiller has spent more than 40 years in the news industry, covering business, politics and the economy on television, radio and in print. Currently, his “Banmiller on Business” reports are delivered to an audience of millions nationwide.
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