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S. Korea lottery sales almost reached all time high in 2017

Sales of lottery tickets in South Korea saw a near record high in 2017, according to comments from the country’s lottery operator on Wednesday, Yonhap News reports.

Total sales are projected at KRW3.79 trillion (US$3.4 billion) in the year, narrowing falling short of the 2003 record high of KRW3.82 trillion - due mainly to a buying frenzy that year due to prizes carried over from previous drawings.

Sales fell 13.7 percent in the following year and continued to fall as the government restricted the carryover of prize money to one time only and halved the price of each game to KRW1,000. A rebound was only observed in 2014.

According to the local media outlet, market observers have attributed the increase in lottery sales to youth unemployment and public concerns over economic conditions.

However, an official of the Ministry of Strategy and Finance said the hike was due mainly to an increase in the number of sales outlets.

"The number of sales outlets increased by 635 to 7,230 last year," the official said. "Lotto sales have nothing to do with economic conditions."

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