Almost one in four bought tickets for this summer’s national lottery

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Katte2Q took a look at Japan’s tax on the stupid, takarakuji, Japan’s national lottery.

Note that Japan’s lottery differs from many around the world, in that it is a raffle (that is, numbered tickets) with fixed-value prizes rather than the more common pattern of picking six numbers from 1 to 50 to win a share of a pot. Actually, that other kind is also offered by the same organisation, but it is the four or so times per year big raffle that is the format that people think of when they hear mention of the lottery.

The national lottery annoys me greatly, in particular the advertising. The main lottery features many big names in story-driven adverts that must run up a significant production and salary budget to produce, and last year their scratch cards featured a kid’s cartoon character, and the year before was based around being addicted to one more scratch…

Here’s an advert from more innocent times:


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2012 (Heisei 24) New Year Postcard Nengajo lottery results

New Year Postcard lottery 2012 winning stampsThe winners of the 2012 New Year Postcard lottery for the Year of the Dragon (my year!) have been announced, and the winning numbers and prizes are as follows. The number to check is the six digit number at the bottom right of the card. Note that some cards do not actually have numbers, which means they are not eligible.

First prize: 030625

Choose any one from a 40 inch Sharp Aquos LED backlit LCD televison, a JTB holiday, either three nights in Shanghai or Honolulu, 2 nights in Seoul, Sapporo, Naha or Tokyo for two, or one night in one of 52 domestic hot springs resorts plus 20,000 yen’s worth of gift vouchers, Toshiba dynabook notebook plus Fujifilm FinePix JX800 digital camera plus Canon PIXUS MG4130 printer, Sharp Healthio microwave oven AX-MX2-R and Panasonic Home Bakery SD-BH104 and Zoujirishi IH rice cooker NP-NC10-TC, or 20,000 points worth of office goods from a Business Choice catalogue.

Most of the items are pretty much the same as last year.

Second prize: 071658, 153787, or 675457

Choose any one from a Sharp Plasma Buster combined humidifier and air purifier KC-A50-W, Canon IXY 410F SL digital camera plus Green House digital photo frame GHV-DF7DW plus a 4GB SD card, an Xbox360 4GB plus Kinect, a day return trip to one of 119 domestic hotels, or a Tobu non-puncturing tyre-equipped folding bicycle HB-160SUS-NT.

Third prize: last four digits 2511

Choose any one food item from 38 different ones on offer, from Godiva cookies to 125 grammes of dried shiitake mushrooms.

Fourth prize: last two digits 27 or 44

Otoshidama stamp set – a fifty yen and an eighty yen stamp, pictured above.

If you have matched any of these, go to your nearest post office before the 23th of July 2012 and either collect the stamps while you wait, or apply for any of the bigger prizes. The full prize line-up can be seen here. How did you get on? I’ll check mine later.

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2011 (Heisei 23) New Year Postcard Nengajo lottery results

New Year Postcard lottery 2011 winning stampsThe winners of the 2011 New Year Postcard lottery for the Year of the Rabbit have been announced, and the winning numbers and prizes are as follows. The number to check is the six digit number at the bottom right of the card. Note that some cards do not actually have numbers, which means they are not eligible.

First prize: 651694

Choose any one from a 40 inch Sharp Aquos LED backlit LCD televison, a JTB holiday, either three nights in Hawaii or Hong Kong, 2 nights in Korea, or one night in one of 53 domestic hot springs resorts plus 30,000 or 50,000 yen’s worth of gift vouchers, Toshiba dynabook T350/34AW-U notebook plus Fujifilm FinePix Z80 digital camera plus Canon PIXUS MG5130 printer, Sanyo CY-SPA226 electric bicycle, or 200,000 yen’s worth of office goods from a Kokuyo catalogue.

Interestingly, compared to last year the TV has been upgraded from 32 inches to 40 inches.

Second prize: 403580, 228949, or 022471

Choose any one from a Nintendo Wii plus Wii Party, Canon XY DIGITAL 400F SL digital camera plus Green House digital photo frame GHV-DF7DW plus a 4GB SD card, Sharp Plamsa Cluster air purifier KC-Z45-W, one night at one of 93 domestic hotels, or a De’Longhi coffee maker CMB6-WH.

Third prize: last four digits 8363

Choose any one food item from 38 different ones on offer, from 264 sheets of seaweed to two bottles of mango juice.

Fourth prize: last two digits 69 or 02

Otoshidama stamp set – a fifty yen and an eighty yen stamp, pictured above.

If you have matched any of these, go to your nearest post office before the 25th of July 2010 and either collect the stamps while you wait, or apply for any of the bigger prizes. The full prize line-up can be seen here. I’ve just checked mine and I’ve won two sheets of the stamps above, the same as last year. How did you get on?

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2010 (Heisei 22) New Year Postcard Nengajo lottery results

New Year Postcard lottery 2010 winning stampsThe winners of the 2010 New Year Postcard lottery for the Year of the Tiger have been announced, and the winning numbers and prizes are as follows. The number to check is the six digit number at the bottom right of the card. Note that some cards do not actually have numbers, which means they are not eligible…

First prize: 975424

Choose any one from a 32 inch Sharp Aquos LCD televison, a JTB holiday, either three nights in Hawaii or Hong Kong, 2 nights in Korea, or one night in one of 58 domestic hot springs resorts, Toshiba dynabook EX notebook plus Casio EXILIM EX-Z450GD digital camera plus Canon PIXUS MP560 printer, Canon iVIS HF21 video camera, or 200,000 yen’s worth of office furniture from an ASKUL catalogue.

Second prize: 630838, 446722, or 259668

Choose any one from a Nintendo Wii plus Wii Sports Resort, Canon XY DIGITAL 220 IS digital camera, Toshia portable DVD player SD-P73DTW, Sharp Plamsa Cluster air purifier KC-Y45-W, or 30 kilogrammes of rice.

Third prize: last four digits 0977

Choose any one food item from 38 different ones on offer, from a tea blend for the Imperial Hotel to canned crab soup.

Fourth prize: last two digits 52 or 00

Otoshidama stamp set – a fifty yen and an eighty yen stamp, pictured above.

C Gumi Special prize: 27520

50,000 yen’s worth of JTB holiday vouchers. The “C Gumi” is apparently something to do with carbon offest New Year Postcards.

If you have matched any of these, go to your nearest post office before the 26th of July 2010 and either collect the stamps while you wait, or apply for any of the bigger prizes. The full prize line-up can be seen here. I’ve just checked mine and I’ve won two sheets of the stamps above.

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2009 Year-end Jumbo Lottery survey: part 2 of 2

Where do you most often keep your lottery tickets? graph of japanese statistics[part 1][part 2]

With tickets having gone on sale last week, with the usual flock of idiots punters buying tickets by the metre, let’s have a look with Macromill Inc at the 2009 Year-end Jumbo Lottery.

Demographics

Over the 10th and 11th of November 2009 1,000 members of the Macromill monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. The sample was exactly 50:50 male and female, and 25.0% in their twenties, 25.0% in their thirties, 25.0% in their forties, and 25.0% aged fifty or older.

Having a superstition for buying the tickets at a shop that sells a lot of them is utterly pointless, as they sell a lot of winners because a lot of people buy! I’d love to see official statistics showing that the ratio of winners to sales is similar regardless of volume, rather than that star signs nonsense from the link above.

In Q7SQ5, I’m sure I heard somewhere why people put tickets in the fridge, but I cannot for the life of me remember what it was! Can anyone help me out?
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2009 Year-end Jumbo Lottery survey: part 1 of 2

Because my pockets are empty, I entrust my dream to the lottery. graph of japanese statistics[part 1][part 2]

With tickets having gone on sale last week, with the usual flock of idiots punters buying tickets by the metre, let’s have a look with Macromill Inc at the 2009 Year-end Jumbo Lottery.

Demographics

Over the 10th and 11th of November 2009 1,000 members of the Macromill monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. The sample was exactly 50:50 male and female, and 25.0% in their twenties, 25.0% in their thirties, 25.0% in their forties, and 25.0% aged fifty or older.

Note that the Japanese Year-end Jumbo Lottery, and all the other major lotteries would be more accurately called raffles. There are a limited number of tickets on sale, and the draw ensures that only a certain number of winners come out, and for whatever reason they have decided that making 210 jackpots between 100 and 300 million yen is better than twenty or so yen billionaires.

In Q6, buying on average 22 tickets per person is quite stunning!
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2009 (Heisei 21) New Year Postcard lottery results

The numbers were announced a few days ago, but I don’t know if anyone’s got round to posting them yet in English, so here goes:

New Year Postcard lottery 2009 winning stampsThe winners of the 2009 New Year Postcard lottery for the Year of the Ox have been announced, and the winning numbers and prizes are as follows. The number to check is the six digit number at the bottom right of the card. Note that some cards do not actually have numbers…

First prize: 345898

Choose any one from a 32 inch Hi-Vision Sharp AQUOS LCD television with Blu-ray recorder, a Panasonic massage chair, a JTB one-night stay voucher at a high-class inn or hotel, a Toshiba pressure cooker rice cooker and high-quality rice, a Canon digital SLR EOS Digital with PIXUS printer and tripod, or a selection of office furniture from Askul. There are 4,155 winning cards.

Second prize: 663829, 908796, or 028962

Choose any one from a Nintendo Wii plus Wii Fit, Omron Karada Scan body monitoring scales with PC link, Casio EX-word electronic dictionary, Canon IXY Digital compact camera, JTB day trip to a hot springs plus meal, or DeLonghi Coffee and Espresso Maker. There are 12,465 winning cards.

Third prize: last four digits 5070

Choose any one from Asakua Nakamuraya rice crackers, Ginza West dry cake, Imperial Hotel baked cake set, Asakusa La Pomme fruit crystal jelly, Dalloyau Four-Secs Demi-Secs cakes, Nakata Foods Kii pickled plums, Asakusa Imahan boiled beef selection, Nissui shark fin and crab canned soup, Hotel New Otani soup set, Shizuoka Green Tea Centre 100 tea bag set, Twinning quality tea bag collection, or Brooke’s 105 coffee filter set. There are 415,420 winning cards.

Fourth prize: last two digits 94 or 46

Otoshidama stamp set – a fifty yen and an eighty yen stamp, pictured above. There are 83,083,880 winning cards.

C Gumi Special prize: 882347 or 223109

Choose any one from Panasonic kitchen rubbish compactor, Bridgestone folding bicycle, or Coleman’s camping set. The “C Gumi” is apparently something to do with carbon offest New Year Postcards.

If you have matched any of these, go to your nearest post office before the 27th of July 2009 and either collect the stamps while you wait, or apply for any of the bigger prizes. The full prize line-up can be seen here. I haven’t checked my cards yet, but how did you get on?

But wait…

As a separate promotion, Megane Ichiba is offering their own lottery for money off a pair of specs. Top prize is for 018900, 5 yen for a pair of glasses up to the value of 18,900 yen. The last five digits of 39189 gives you 10,000 yen off, the last four digits of 0801 gives you 5,000 yen off, last two digits of 33 or 77 gives you 1,500 yen off, and a last digit of 2, 5, 6, or 8 gives you 1,000 yen off! Only one card per pair of glasses, though, may be used.

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Winning the year-end jumbo lottery

If you won 300 million yen in the lottery, would you quit your job? graph of japanese statisticsHere’s a bit of a short survey that has rather interesting results; iShare looked at the end of the year Jumbo Lottery.

Demographics

Between the 21st and 25th of November 2008 430 members of the CLUB BBQ free online email forwarding service completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 50.5% of the sample were male, 13.3% in their twenties, 54.4% in their thirties, 23.5% in their forties, and 8.8% in their teens or fifty or older.

First a lottery tip: if you can spare 300 yen, buy just one ticket. This measurably changes your odds from absolutely zero to infinitesimal. Buying a second leaves your odds still infinitesimal, so don’t bother.

Next, the lottery does seem to have a lot of misconceptions surrounding it, mainly focussing on the drawing method and the relatively small first prize, leading many to think that it’s even more of a tax on the innumerate than the average one. However, the term “lottery” is misleading, as most people imagine the pick six from fifty-type schemes that are prevelant in the west, whereas Japan’s is more like a raffle – all the sold tickets go into a hat and winners are drawn from there, so if it is a sell-out all the prizes (in theory) will be claimed.

This year there are 70 first prizes of 200 million yen (roughly 2 million US dollars), 140 almost-first prizes of 50 million yen, 6,930 almost-almost first prizes of 100,000 yen, 140 second prizes of 100 million yen, 700 at 5 million yen, and so on, assuming they sell all 70 blocks of tickets. In total, there are 700 million tickets for sale (about 6 per man, woman and child) for a total value of 210 billion yen. I make that just over 99 billion yen in prize money, or 47.3% of the sales, leaving just under 111 billion yen in the pot. Once television and print advertising, sales overhead, amakudari-inflated old-boy director salaries, and everything else are paid for, that leaves a little bit left over (can anyone point me to figures for administration costs on the lottery?) for good causes, but I have little idea what they fund.

Oh, there’s a headline figure of 300 million yen advertised as the top prize, but I’m not really sure how one ticket can get the extra 100 million.

So, back to the survey.
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2008 (Heisei 20) New Year Postcard lottery results

New Year Postcard lottery 2008 winning stampsThe winners of the 2008 New Year Postcard lottery for the Year of the Rat have been announced, and the winning numbers and prizes are as follows. The number to check is the six digit number at the bottom right of the card. Note that some cards do not actually have numbers…

First prize: 574578

Choose any one from a 37 inch Sharp AQUOS LCD television, a Sharp water oven, a MacBook plus iPod classic, or a foreign holiday from HIS.

Second prize: 957358, 769466, or 397940

Choose any one from an iPod nano, a Nintendo Wii, a Canon IXY DIGITAL 10 camera, a Sanyo air filter, or a Le Creuset cast iron pan.

Third prize: last four digits 9660

Choose any one from a pasta sauce set, filter coffee, Marrons Glaces (Crystallized Chestnuts), some Asakusa boiled beef, a Queen Alice beef stew set, Dalloyau French sweets, some Imperial Hotel canned soup, Yoku Moku sweets, Nadaman restaurant gift set, or Orbis Collagen beauty drink.

Fourth prize: last two digits 37 or 64

Otoshidama stamp set – a fifty yen and an eighty yen stamp, pictured above.

C Gumi Special prize: 812751 or 561101

Choose any one from cardboard furniture set, commuter bicycle set, or a garden decoration set. The “C Gumi” is apparently something to do with carbon offest New Year Postcards.

New Year Greeting Original Prize: 935473, 588104, 520056 or 700871

New Year Greeting Original Ninetendo DS Lite.

If you have matched any of these, go to your nearest post office before the 28th of July 2008 and either collect the stamps while you wait, or apply for any of the bigger prizes. The full prize line-up can be seen here. I haven’t checked my cards yet, but how did you get on?

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532nd National End of Year Jumbo Lottery winning numbers

Just in case you bought or were given tickets for the Japan End of Year Lottery and want to find out if you have won or not, here are the results. I haven’t seen them reported anywhere else in English, so I thought I’d post here. First, look at a sample ticket.

sample Japanese End of Year Jumbo lottery ticket

The two highlighted numbers are the ones of interest. The top two-digit number is the 組, gumi, or ticket group that this ticket belongs to. This one is 57 gumi. The second number is the serial number, in this case #134963.

By the way, if you are looking for the winners of the Year of the Rat New Year Postcard Nengajo lottery, the results were published on the 27th of January. That one’s got a nice booby prize of two rat-themed stamps!

Now to the winners:

Top prize: 83 gumi, #136917: 200,000,000 yen

Close but no cigar prize 1: 83 gumi, #136916 or #136918: 50,000,000 yen
Close but no cigar prize 2: 82 or 84 gumi, #136917: 100,000 yen

Second prize: 03 gumi, #187951: 100,000,000 yen
Second prize: 65 gumi, #119970: 100,000,000 yen
Second prize: 31 gumi, #100682: 100,000,000 yen

Third prize: 01 gumi, #152735: 10,000,000 yen
Third prize: 90 gumi, #100823: 10,000,000 yen
Third prize: 31 gumi, #145940: 10,000,000 yen

Fourth prize: second digit of gumi equals 1, #194938: 1,000,000 yen
Fourth prize: second digit of gumi equals 0, #149856: 1,000,000 yen

Fifth prize: any gumi, #158207: 100,000 yen
Fifth prize: any gumi, #158830: 100,000 yen
Fifth prize: any gumi, #190624: 100,000 yen

Sixth prize: any gumi, last four digits of serial number equal #0258: 30,000 yen

Seventh prize: any gumi, last two digits of serial number equal #78: 3000 yen

Eighth prize: any gumi, last digit of serial number equals #3: 300 yen

End of Year Lucky Prize: any gumi, last three digits of serial number equal #960: 10,000 yen

You have one calendar year from the 7th of January 2008 in which to claim your prize.

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