BEIJING — China’s lottery sales rose 19.6 percent year-on-year to about 245 billion yuan ($36 billion) in the first half of the year, official data showed.
In the January-June period, sales of welfare lottery tickets increased 4.2 percent year-on-year to 110.6 billion yuan, while sports lottery sales surged by 36.1 percent to 134.6 billion yuan, according to the Ministry of Finance.
In June alone, sales of sports lottery jumped by 147 percent to some 39.5 billion yuan mainly due to the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the ministry said.
A total of 29 provinces and regions saw growth in lottery sales in the first half of the year, driven by strong performance in Jiangsu, Hunan, Guangdong, Zhejiang and Jiangxi, according to the ministry.
China sold more than 426.67 billion yuan worth of lotteries last year, making it the world’s second largest lottery market after the United States.
Under lottery management rules, money from ticket sales must cover administrative fees, public welfare projects and prize money.