Lottery sales in South Korea were 11.1 percent from a year earlier

in Lottery

SEJONG, Sept. 16 (Yonhap) -- Lottery sales in South Korea hit a 15-year high in the first half of the year amid the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, government data showed Wednesday.

Sales of lottery tickets were tallied at 2.6 trillion won (US$2.2 billion) in the January-June period, up 11.1 percent from a year earlier, according to the data from the finance ministry and the Korea Lottery Commission.

The figure is the largest for the first half since the ministry started releasing data on lottery sales for the first six months of a year.

The first-half growth rate marks the highest on-year increase since the 17.7 percent surge in 2012.

The ministry attributed the brisk first-half sales to an economic slump triggered by the COVID-19 outbreak. Lottery tickets are one of the products whose sales are robust during an economic depression.

Sales of Lotto, the most popular offline lottery ticket in the country, accounted for the bulk of the first-half amount at 2.3 trillion won. Lotto sales have been on a steady increase since its debut in 2002.

Sales of pension-type lottery tickets rocketed 68.2 percent on-year to 85.5 billion won, according to the tally.