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What’s the first thing you do when you arrive in Taiwan? You save all your receipts! After you’ve made a few (or several) purchases, of course. Those not familiar with the receipt lottery system in Taiwan may be asking, why?

In Taiwan, every receipt you get is a lottery ticket. Whether you purchase something for $1NT or $1,000,000NT you have an equal chance at winning prizes from the government. Eight unique numbers are printed on every receipt and the numbers are matched from right to left. Most businesses will provide a receipt for any purchases made, except for smaller mom and pop shops and street vendors.

 
Front & back of a typical receipt

The lottery numbers are chosen every two months, so hold on tight to those receipts. On the day of the lottery drawing, the winning numbers are published in all the daily newspapers and online. For smartphone users, this nifty app allows you to scan your receipt to see if you’ve won anything. Six different eight digit number combos are chosen at random. Three number combos are chosen for the Grand Prize and the other three are chosen for first prize. In order to win the Grand Prize ($2,000,000NT) you have to match all the numbers in the exact order. You start by matching the first number from right to left in consecutive order. The first prize is a little easier to win because you don’t have to match all the numbers exactly to win a prize.

The red text on top tells you which months and year your receipt is valid for the lottery. Remember that in Taiwan years are counted starting from the year 1911, when the country was founded. For example, year 98 in the receipt below would be 2009.  7-8 refers to the months July-August. The line below with “HL” is the actual lottery number you play and the blue text under that is the stamp from the business where you got the receipt from.

Here’s a breakdown of the possible winnings per numbers matched:

3 numbers in sequential order – $200NT ($6USD)
4 numbers in sequential order – $1,000NT ($30USD)
5 numbers in sequential order – $4,000NT ($120USD)
6 numbers in sequential order – $10,000NT ($300USD)
7 numbers in sequential order – $40,000NT ($1,200USD)
8 numbers in sequential order – $200,000NT ($6,000USD)

And if you ever are lucky enough to score a win, make sure you claim your prize within ten months at your local post office, or it won’t be valid anymore. Good luck!

You can get more information here.

 

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