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One in 10 households bought lottery tickets in Q1: data

By Song Seung-hyun

Published : May 30, 2024 - 17:14

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A Seoul lottery shop clerk holds up lotto tickets. (The Korea Herald) A Seoul lottery shop clerk holds up lotto tickets. (The Korea Herald)

Over one in 10 households bought at least one lottery ticket during the first quarter of this year, marking the highest first-quarter percentage in the last five years -- over 10 percent -- data showed Thursday.

These households spent on average 7,300 won ($5.31) on lotto tickets during the first quarter of 2024, according to data presented by Statistics Korea.

The number of households that purchased any type of ticket -- including traditional drawing, scratch-off, one-off jackpot or annuity payout tickets -- reached 2.21 million, counting for 10.1 percent of the total 21.83 million households surveyed.

The proportion of households purchasing lottery tickets in the January-March period has remained between 8 and 9 percent since 2020: 9.3 percent in 2020, 9.6 percent in 2021, 8.8 percent in 2022 and 8.6 percent in 2023.

When looking at the data classified by income bracket, among the 2.21 million households that purchased lottery tickets during the first quarter, the households in the third quintile income bracket took up the largest share at 22.9 percent, or 506,000 households.

Following them were households in the fourth and fifth quintile income brackets, accounting for 22.8 percent and 22.4 percent, respectively. This data shows that overall, those in Korea's three lowest income brackets bought more lottery tickets in the first quarter of this year than those in the two highest income brackets.

The households in the third quintile income bracket also spent the most per month on average during the first quarter of this year, at 8,758 won.

Meanwhile, the government recently announced that it is considering increasing the price of the most popular lottery ticket, the Lotto 6/45.

The amount one can win will also be increased and the price hike is expected to lift the revenue from the lottery ticket, which goes toward helping vulnerable social groups, according a Ministry of Strategy and Finance official, Thursday.

"We are looking at ways to use the lottery fund to improve social mobility from various aspects, including changing the fund management plan,” the official said.

Currently, one Lotto 6/45 ticket costs 1,000 won. The price was reduced in 2004 from 2,000 won.