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Who will win Vietnam’s first American-style lottery jackpot?

Thursday, July 21, 2016, 14:16 GMT+7

Vietnam’s first-ever self-select lottery opened with a minimum jackpot of VND12 billion (US$535,000) in Ho Chi Minh City earlier this week as ticket buyers hope lady luck is on their side.

The computerized lottery ‘Mega 6/45’ was introduced on Monday with that record jackpot eight times the highest prize in traditional Vietnamese lotteries.

The new lottery project is a cooperative effort between Vietnam’s state-run lottery company Vietlott and an indirect subsidiary of Malaysia-based firm Berjaya Corp Bhd (BCorp), the recipient of an 18-year investment license to operate the computerized lottery in the country in January.

Tickets for the computerized lottery can be bought for VND10,000 ($0.45) per six-number combination selected from a pool of whole numbers from 1 to 45.

The jackpot combination is randomly selected every Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday at 6:00 pm, and rolled over into the next lottery period should no winner emerge to claim the prize.

Apart from the jackpot, bonus prizes of up to VND10 million ($446) are awarded to those with three, four, or five numbers matching the jackpot combination.

The lottery’s first six-number combination was unveiled on Wednesday, with no one claiming the jackpot so far.

Le Toan, owner of a Mega 6/45 lottery point of sale in District 5, Ho Chi Minh City, said he had been interested in this type of lottery since observing U.S.-style lotteries.

Toan jumped at the chance of running a point of sale for the lottery upon learning that it had been allowed in Vietnam.

“Since our opening, 40 to 50 buyers from every walk of life come in every day to try their luck,” Toan said. “Some only spend [VND] 10,000 to see how it works but others buy hundreds of thousands [of VND] worth of lottery tickets.”

As observed in some lottery points of sale in Ho Chi Minh City, many buyers are unfamiliar with the new type of lottery, and sellers spend a lot of time explaining the procedures to their customers.

Vietlott expects to open over 800 points of sale in the city in the first month, and increase the number to 10,000 nationwide within the next five years.

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