1.08 cr. tickets printed every day and there are hardly any unsold tickets post pandemic
The new lottery – Fifty-Fifty- launched by the Lottery department tells the tale of the distinctive growth trajectory of the lottery in the State.
“It has been 55 years since the Kerala lottery was started in 1967 and over 50 lakh people had hit the jackpot (major prizes) over the years. The name Fifty-Fifty, the first draw of which will be held on May 29, is the symbolic representation of these two fetes, ”says Abraham Renn, Lottery Director.
The 55-year history also tells some hard stories of Keralites’ hard-earned addiction to the raffle.
According to Lottery Joint Director B. Surendran, 1.08 crore lottery tickets are printed every day and there are hardly any unsold tickets in the post-pandemic period, whereas the unsold was around four to five lakh before the outbreak. It indicates, one out of two working age people try their luck in Kerala each day.
Another striking feature is that the annual lottery sale was around 10 lakh and the turnover about ₹ 150-250 crore around a decade-and-a-half ago. After digitization of the department and blanket ban on other-State lotteries, the lottery sale in Kerala has skyrocketed with the State netting ₹ 9,972 crore in revenue in 2019-20.
The government has put a ceiling on printing lotteries at 1.08 crore as raising the number will have a direct bearing on the social fabric of the State.
Despite annual revenue close to ₹ 10,000 crore, the profit margin of the department is meagre, says Mr. Renn. Around 60% of the revenue goes in the form of prizes while 28% goes to the exchequer as tax, which is used for social security schemes, says Mr Renn.
On an average, each lottery gives away around 2.75 lakh prizes (including consolation prizes) a day. At present, the department runs seven daily lotteries, including the new Fifty-Fifty, in a week and six bumper lotteries in a year.