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Lotto sales in S. Korea hit 11-year high in 2015

All News 13:55 January 27, 2016

SEJONG, Jan. 27 (Yonhap) -- Sales of online lottery tickets called Lotto in South Korea reached an 11-year high in 2015 due mainly to a jump in the number of sales outlets, government data showed Wednesday.

According to the lottery committee of the finance ministry, Lotto sales came to 3.26 trillion won (US$2.71 billion) last year, up 6.8 percent from the previous year.

The amount marked the largest since 2004, when the sales peaked at 3.3 trillion won, the data showed. The ministry said increased Lotto sales was largely driven by the surge in the number of sales outlets from 6,015 at the end of 2014 to 6,361 at the end of last year.

New recruitment of 512 sales people last year also contributed to the Lotto sales growth.

The government has decided to increase the number of sales outlets by 2,000 between 2015 and 2017 in order to meet the rising growth in Lotto sales. Lotto sales, which account for 92 percent of total lottery sales in Korea, have risen for seven years in a row.

Lotto tickets were first sold in 2002 and gained high popularity. Yearly sales surpassed 3 trillion won in 2003 and 2004 but fell below 3 trillion won from 2004 to 2013 before returning to 3 trillion won in 2014.

The government expects Lotto sales to rise further this year when the newly recruited sellers start working.

In the first month of the year, average sales of Lotto rose 7.7 percent from the same period last year to 68.24 billion won, according to the committee.

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