Winning Numbers 'Fixed' in Laos National Lottery, Sources Say

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A map showing Laos.
A map showing Laos.

Lottery officials in the communist country of Laos are rigging the system, manipulating winning numbers in order to avoid large pay-outs, sources in the Southeast Asian nation say.

Drawings in the national lottery, which take place three times each week, often show numbers that vanish from purchased tickets or that are deemed unlucky and are unlikely to be chosen, sources say.

The winning number 509 on Oct. 14 this year appeared only as 5 on tickets sold throughout the day of the drawing after large numbers of Lao buyers sought to buy tickets including the “random number” 09, a resident of the capital Vientiane told RFA’s Lao Service.

“This number is associated in Laos with the buffalo, a symbol of good fortune, and many people wanted to pick this number,” RFA’s source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“Machines would not accept it, though, saying that too many of the number had already been sold.”

Access to the number, which was unavailable throughout the day, was mysteriously restored only an hour before the scheduled drawing, the source added.

In a similar case on Oct. 10, Lao radio announced the winning number of that day’s drawing as 134, changing the number only 10 minutes later to 662, the source said.

“And last year , the winning numbers for three consecutive drawings at the end of September were 367, 267, and 567,” the source said, adding that the number 67 is commonly associated with the turtle, an animal believed in Laos to bring bad luck.

“The Lao people will not pick this number.  And even if they use it and win, they won’t keep the money, but will give it away to a charity foundation or a temple.”

“How is it possible that the number 67 would appear like this three times in a row?” he asked.

'Completely transparent'

Speaking to RFA, Sommaly Thammavong—daughter-in-law of former prime minister Thongsing Thammavong and a co-owner in the lottery management group run by Thai-based business firm Insee Trading Co.—denied the lottery is rigged.

“The drawing uses random numbers and is completely transparent, and there are no problems with the system at all,” Sommaly told RFA.

A Lao state official speaking on condition of anonymity meanwhile said that Lao business interests with a stake in the lottery’s work include other persons with connections to the country’s ruling elite.

“The majority of the companies responsible for the lottery include people from the families of national leaders, including former prime minister Thongsing and former president Khamtay Siphandone,” he said.

The public is not told how much these business interests pay to the Lao government for the annual cost of the concession, and no one inspects it, he said.

“Hopefully, the government will resume control of the national lottery, because it should be 100 percent managed by them,” a caller from Laos told RFA.

“Private business interests should not be allowed to be responsible for the national lottery, because the drawings can’t be trusted,” he added.

Reported and translated by Ounkeo Souksavanh for RFA’s Lao Service. Written in English by Richard Finney.

Comments (4)


from USA

Laos will never change whether it is the communist government in control or any other group in control of the country. Lao is to dumb to have such system. Lao should know better,but they don't. if they eat/use/play something, they should know that it is good to save some for later. No, when they eat/use/play something, they often and never save. For them, the more they catch/see, the more they take. Therefore, they have nothing left for the future. The money they received from foreigners is never used to repairs and build Laos infrastructures. The money goes directly to the elites and if the people who dear to complain often gone missing. Laos will always be last and top on the list of corrupted countries in the world.

[This comment has been edited by RFA Editorial staff per our Terms of Use]

Oct 31, 2016 09:33 AM

Dek Lao

Communist Laos is The land of No Transparency, No Accountability, No Responsibilty, No Justice...those puppets in leadership are putting the country up for sale so they can keep all the proceeds to themselves.

Oct 26, 2016 12:58 PM


Only dumb person play the lottery in Laos! It's a corrupt country. Control by the government or private interests, it's all the same. CORRUPT!! Laotian throw away the little money they have. Another scam to skim the poor people in Laos.

[This comment has been edited by RFA Editorial staff per our Terms of Use]

Oct 25, 2016 01:11 PM

no fair

from Vientiane

They all the same " FIXED FIXED AND FIXED"
and No One will tell you it is FIXED

Oct 24, 2016 08:16 PM





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