Playing the Lottery Online

Thai lotto, or slaak kin baeng, is one of the Land of Smiles’ two forms of legal gambling, drawing millions of people twice monthly on the first and 16th of the month. It’s a source of income for organizers, a form of entertainment for the public, and a potential economic stimulus. But the lottery’s significance extends well beyond its thrill of possibility, fostering a sense of hope and optimism in society, even if the dream of sudden wealth is never realized.

Those who play the lottery scour their memory for lucky numbers, rely on messages from the cosmos disguised in mundane events, or simply pick the first six digits of the name of a deceased relative. They ponder the short odds of winning, and they have a way of rationalizing these odds when it comes time to place their bets.

The draw process is a little different than what might be expected, with the presence of a guest called the “Draw Chairman.” He or she inspects the machines and the numbers before initializing them by selecting a colored ball. The order of lesser prizes is determined by the color of the selected ball: yellow for second prize, pink for third prize, green for fourth prize, and blue for fifth prize. Finally, a two-digit number is drawn for the bonus prize (first prize and bonus prizes are taxed at 0.5% and 1.0% respectively).

Lottery tickets are pre-printed and include a variety of anti-counterfeiting features. They are only sold in ticket pairs, with the first prize prize amount and a note regarding taxes printed at the top left of each. Previously, TGL and TCL tickets were available, with TGL tickets featuring a first prize of six million baht and a bonus prize of 30 million baht, and TCL tickets featuring a first prize of three million baht and a bonus prize 22 million baht (bonus prize eliminated after 1 Aug 2015).