Kerala Lotteries cross the borders illegally and are sold like hot cakes in other states like Tamil Nadu, where lotteries are banned. Palaniswamy with a bag on his shoulders is a regular traveller by the Shoranur-Coimbatore MEMU train leaving Palakkad junction at 3.45 pm which reaches Coimbatore one hour later. The man is carrying a bag of lottery tickets and there are regular buyers of his tickets since Tamil Nadu had banned the sale of lottery tickets nine years ago.
“There are many others like Palaniswamy engaged in this clandestine business,’’ said a regular commuter of this train and also the Mangalore -Coimbatore fast passenger. No wonder it is Palakkad district which tops the sale of lottery tickets in the state followed by Thrissur district, both of which have access to Tamil Nadu.
“Of the 30 lakh tickets printed in the state for Win Win, Akshaya, Bhagyanidhi and Pournami, Palakkad is allotted only 4,30,000 tickets for each category and all of them are sold out in no time,” said district lottery officer M E Radhakrishna Das.
Take the case of a lottery drawn two days ago. Of the 29,97,300 tickets printed in the state, Palakkad and Thrissur accounted for the sale of 4,30,000 tickets each. The other districts which shared the borders with Tamil Nadu, like Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram, accounted for the sale of 2,69,000 and 2,40,000 tickets each (Only Ernakulam district which had a large floating population sold 2,70,000 tickets and most of the other districts were below two lakh).
In all categories of lottery ticket sales, Palakkad district topped the list with 2,50,000 tickets sold for both the Rs 40 - denomination Dhanasree and Pradheeksha out of the 16,50,000 tickets printed in the state. The Rs 50- denomination Karunya lottery sold 2,60,000 tickets out of the 17,50,000 tickets printed.
“Small vendors like us do not get the required number of tickets from the district lottery office,’’ said Sreekumar of Vadavannur.
Leading lottery dealer in Kerala S S Manian says that Kerala is a tourist destination and some of the people will be purchasing tickets when they come here.
Even if one takes the tickets to Tamil Nadu, nobody can sell them in public. “There is some shortage of smaller denomination lotteries and the sales are brisk in border areas like Walayar, Velanthavalam and Kozhinjampara,’’ says Kajah Hussein of New Star Lottery Agency.