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China's lottery sales surge in January

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BEIJING, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- China's lottery ticket sales surged 51.1 percent year on year in January to hit 24.86 billion yuan (3.96 billion U.S. dollars), official data shows.

In a statement released on Thursday, the Ministry of Finance mainly attributed the jump in sales to seven more working days to sell lottery tickets this January.

Last year, the week-long holiday for the Spring Festival, or the Chinese Lunar New Year, fell in January. It fell in February this year.

Of the total, welfare lottery sales reached 14.69 billion yuan, up 48.5 percent year on year. Sales of sports lottery tickets jumped 55 percent to 10.17 billion yuan, the statement said.

It said all provincial-level regions saw lottery sales rise in January from a year earlier, with eastern province of Zhejiang posting the largest increase of 888 million yuan.

According to China's Regulations on Lottery Management, money raised through lotteries is divided into three parts: the jackpot; lottery management fees; and lottery public funds.

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