Asian Lotteries

Gambling has a certain culture about it in Asia, where things like karma and lucky or unlucky numbers are generally taken more seriously than in the West. As a result, there are a lot of popular lotteries in Asia, and here we look at some of the best.

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Introduction to Asian Lotteries

Something that’s interesting about Asia as a whole is that there are so many countries with their specific cultural differences while the region as a whole shares certain similarities at the same time. You can see this in how they handle gambling where there’s a general reverence for lucky numbers, karma and other aspects of the situation that aren’t necessarily a part of the physical world.

While each country manifests these ideas in their own way, you can see them everywhere in the general sense.

The idea here is that these lotteries have more of a cultural significance than what you might seen in Europe or North America, and that adds a whole different layer of meaning to how they are played and their importance in the overall cultural dialogue.

In what follows, we’re going to look at some of the most popular lottery games in this part of the world and why they are so popular.

Japan – Loto 6

The Loto 6 in Japan also goes by the name Takarakuji, and it’s one of the biggest lotteries in Asia as a whole. It was first started in late 2000, and it made history as being the first lottery in Japanese history that was allowed to have jackpots roll over to the next drawing if the biggest prizes weren’t won. This added a lot of excitement to the game.

This game is played by picking six numbers from a range of 1-43 along with a single bonus number, and the tickets cost 200 Yen each with no options for other bet sizes. Here is a summary of the available prizes:

  • Pick 6 – Top Jackpot
  • Pick 5 (Plus Bonus) – 10,081,860 Yen
  • Pick 5 (No Bonus) – 252,400 Yen
  • Pick 4 – 6,800 Yen
  • Pick 3 – 1,000 Yen

With the bonus number, we want to point out that it’s only used for the second-highest prize, which is the largest static and non-jackpot payout. It has no bearing on any of the other available wins.

As you can see, there are some pretty tremendous payouts for this game, and the jackpot rolling over each time is a big feature that gives it chances to become enormous in size if no one wins for a while.

The drawing for this takes place every Monday and Thursday night.

Japan – Loto 7

Related to the Loto 6, the Loto 7 was founded in early 2013 to give players another game to play that’s somewhat similar. However, the Loto 7 game is like a larger-scale version of the Loto 6 with chances for bigger payouts.

To play this game, players will pick seven total numbers from 1 to 37. This also includes an extra bonus pick that’s used to decide some of the payouts. Here are the available prizes from this game:

  • Pick 7 (No Bonus) – Top Jackpot
  • Pick 6 (Plus Bonus) – 730,000 Yen
  • Pick 6 – 73,000 Yen
  • Pick 5 – 9,100 Yen
  • Pick 4 – 1,400 Yen
  • Pick 3 (Plus Bonus) – 1,000 Yen

What you can see here is that there’s a small difference in how the bonus number works. In the Loto 6 game, it only applies to a single payout, but in the Loto 7, it applies to a high and low payout.

You can also see that there are bigger prizes available as the upper end of the prizes are less likely for you to win compared to the equivalent places on the pay table for the Loto 6.

Despite this being a larger version, the Loto 6 is generally seen as the more popular of the two titles, but they are still two of the most popular lotteries in all of Japan.

Hong Kong – Mark Six

If you want to talk about a game that’s popular and ingrained in the culture of an area, then the Mark Six is a great example. This is a lottery game that’s so popular in Hong Kong that the average drawing sells more tickets than there are citizens in the country.

This game has been around since 1975, and over that time, the drawing mechanism has changed to keep up with current technology.

One of the reasons why it’s so popular is that it’s actually ran by a non-profit organization called the Hong Kong Jockey Club, which has roots going back to the late 1800s. They are the organization that pays the most taxes of any in Hong Kong with more than 5 percent of all of their total tax revenue coming from this one organization.

This game has you pick six numbers from a range of values going from 1 to 49 along with one bonus pick. The more numbers you match, the better your prizes. Here’s what to expect in terms of payouts:

  • Pick 6 – Jackpot
  • Pick 5 (Plus Bonus) – 1,664,380 HKD
  • Pick 5 (No Bonus) – 82,510 HKD
  • Pick 4 (Plus Bonus) – 9,600 HKD
  • Pick 4 (No Bonus) – 640 HKD
  • Pick 3 (Plus Bonus) – 320 HKD
  • Pick 3 (No Bonus) – 40 HKD

This drawing happens every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday night.

China – Super Lotto

The largest lottery in all of China is the Super Lotto. It’s a part of the China Sports Lottery, one of the two major lottery groups in the country, and it has some interesting options that make it stand out.

One such option is called the banker bet. Since you typically pick five spots with two bonus numbers from a range of 1 to 35, you’ll do something with a banker bet that forces at least one correct number. This happens by wagering on 31 total different tickets where your first four numbers and two bonus numbers are the same. However, your fifth number includes one of each of the other non-represented numbers from your first four.

Here are the payouts for this lottery:

  • Pick 5 (2 Bonus) – Jackpot
  • Pick 5 (1 Bonus) – 18 percent of Jackpot
  • Pick 5 (No Bonus) – 7 percent of Jackpot
  • Pick 4 (2 Bonus) – 7 percent of Jackpot
  • Pick 4 (1 Bonus) – 200 Yuan
  • Pick 3 (2 Bonus) – 200 Yuan
  • Pick 4 (No Bonus) – 10 Yuan
  • Pick 3 (1 Bonus) – 10 Yuan
  • Pick 2 (2 Bonus) – 10 Yuan
  • Pick 3 (No Bonus) – 5 Yuan
  • Pick 1 (2 Bonus) – 5 Yuan
  • Pick 2 (1 Bonus) – 5 Yuan
  • Pick 0 (2 Bonus) – 5 Yuan

Something that stands out in this lottery compared to many others is that the pay table is a bit more complicated. With two bonus numbers, as opposed to the more typical single bonus number (or no bonus number at all), you end up with a situation where you can get these more complicated ways to get paid.

With that said, it’s the most popular lottery in China, and this level of complication could be a part of the reason behind that. It’s also worth pointing out that you can even win by getting none of the regular numbers if you match both of the bonus, which is something you don’t see in most other lotteries on a national level.

China – Double Color Ball

The Double Color Ball lottery in China is another popular option, and it’s largely used to develop funding for certain causes. On average, 50 percent of the entries go to the payouts for the game while 35 percent goes to these causes, and another 15 percent is used to cover the price of putting the game together and running it.

Players enjoy this game by choosing six numbers from 1-13 with a bonus ball that runs from 1 to 16. The payouts come as follows with certain restrictions that we’ll look at below:

  • Pick 6 (With Bonus) – 75 percent of the Jackpot
  • Pick 6 (No Bonus) – 25 percent of the Jackpot
  • Pick 5 (With Bonus) – 3,000 Yuan
  • Pick 5 (No Bonus) – 200 Yuan
  • Pick 4 (With Bonus) – 200 Yuan
  • Pick 4 (No Bonus) – 10 Yuan
  • Pick 3 (With Bonus) – 10 Yuan
  • Pick 0 (With Bonus) – 5 Yuan

The way the jackpot is handled in this lottery is a bit atypical. The main top payout awards 75 percent of the overall prize fund for that drawing. However, there is a maximum of 5 million Yuan for an individual winner. Likewise, the second-highest option is called similarly.

The drawing for the Double Color Ball happens on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday evening. It happens on the China Education channel on television, and that’s reflective of it being used for the causes it is.

This game also allows a duplex wager that allows you to wager on more numbers at a higher cost with the same available payouts.

Malaysia – Damacai 4D

Since early 2005, the Damacai 4D has been the most popular lottery game in all of Malaysia. You choose four digits to create a number from 0000 to 9999, and this is a bit of a different format than what people normally see with these types of games. The wins are based on how many of the numbers you get right off of a pay table where different numbers are assigned different prizes.

You can also play with two different bet sizes, which lends itself to two different pay tables, and that’s something that you don’t always see. The two pay tables look like the following:

  • 2500 RM, 1000 RM, 500 RM, 180 RM, 60 RM
  • 3500 RM, 2000 RM, 1000 RM

You’ll notice that the prizes are a little bigger for the smaller bet, but you’ll average less in winnings overall.

The prizes are based on either getting the number completely right or getting a few of the first numbers right. It’s an atypical style, but it’s popular there.

Vietnam – Mega 6/45

In Vietnam, the most popular lottery by far is the Mega 6/45. As the name implies, you choose six numbers out of 45, and the more matches you win, the better your payouts look.

We’re going to list the payouts here in terms of what they are roughly in euros and US dollars for comparison to make it more clear what’s being won here:

  • Pick 6 – Jackpot
  • Pick 5 – About $440 or €380
  • Pick 4 – About $15 or €12
  • Pick 3 – About $1.50 or €1.20

It’s worth noting that this game has no bonus number, which is atypical for the pick-style lottery games, but you will find that there are a lot of people who get in on the action for this game. To give an idea of how big the jackpot can get, the largest win was worth a bit over €6 million, and it averages in the range of €500,000 to €2 million just depending on how big it gets before someone wins it.


There are a whole lot of different lotteries that happen in the Asian region of the world, but the fact of the matter is that they all have a number of things in common because of the cultural significance for luck, karma and superstition along these lines that most of these cultures have.

Since these lotteries are generally used for funding public projects and programs, they tend to be incredibly popular with a very high percentage of individuals playing them. What’s more is that each of the major companies have a number of less popular games to go along with these main titles as well, and that just goes to show how much players like variety no matter where they are located in the world.


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