The Kerala 'Thiru Onam Bumper lottery', billed as carrying the biggest prize money of over Rs.20 crore in the country, is seeing roaring sales, an official said Sunday.
"The sale of tickets opened July 6 and the draw is scheduled for Sept 7. Every day we expect a sale of 1.50 lakh tickets," said the official on condition of anonymity.
The lotteries department (under the taxes department) looks after the sale of the tickets.
"Last year for Onam, over 30 lakhs tickets was sold and taking that as the bench mark, when this year's bumber was planned, we decided to have a ceiling of maximum 54 lakh tickets.
"We printed over 36 lakh tickets, out of which 23 lakh tickets were sold till yesterday (Saturday). With 12 days to go for the draw, we decided to print another six lakh tickets," said the official.
According to the Lotteries Act, a state can have a maximum of six bumper lottery in a year.
The first prize for the Onam bumper ticket this year is a staggering Rs.five crore along with one kg of gold.
The ticket costs Rs.200.
"The total prize money if all the 54 lakh tickets are sold would come to Rs.20.45 crore. The agents commission would be Rs.1.88 crore," said the official.
With more than 35,000 authorized agents and over 100,000 retail sellers, lottery has become an option to make extra money for the poorest of the poor in the state.
"Yes, sales are going great guns and the problem today is to get fresh tickets. Not many of us expected sales to be this high and we gave only limited orders," said Krishnan Kutty, an agent in the city.
Kerala was the first state in the country to launch sale of lottery tickets way back in 1967 with a first prize of Rs.50,000. The ticket was priced for Re.one.
After the revenue earned through sales of liquor, it's the lottery which rakes in huge profits.
"We expect the revenues to cross Rs.2,300 crore this fiscal, up from Rs.1,280 crore from last fiscal," added the official.