The Kerala lotteries department on Sunday launched a new monthly lottery which will carry five first prizes of Rs 1 crore each. Called ‘Bhagyamithra’, the draw will take place on the first Sunday of every month. The second prize is worth Rs 10 lakh for one person, while the third prize of Rs 2 lakh each will be given to eight winners. Other prizes are of Rs 5,000, Rs 2,000, Rs 1,000, Rs 500 and Rs 300, besides 35 consolation prizes of Rs 25,000 each.
Priced at Rs 100, 24 lakh tickets were printed in the first phase. The first draw will be held on December 6.
This is the first time in the history of the lottery that multiple first prizes have been awarded. The new lottery is meant to compensate for the losses due to the cancellation of the Pournami Lottery on Sundays. The sale of lottery tickets, which were drawn on Sunday, has been suspended till December 31. The department plans to eliminate the Pournami lottery if the new lottery is successful.
The Kerala government runs a slew of seasonal and daily lotteries which are extremely popular among the public and help shore up non-tax revenues for the administration. The lottery department was set up in 1967 and since its inception, it is one of the few government departments to have never recorded losses.
The first lottery ticket in 1967 was sold for Re 1 and carried a top cash prize of Rs 50,000. The department has grown from a revenue of Rs 20 lakhs in 1967-68 to nearly Rs 9000 crores in 2017-18. Today, it sells the major Thiruvonam, Vishu, Puja, Monsoon, Summer bumper tickets along with daily-draw categories such as Akshaya, Sthree Shakti, Karunya, and Pournami.
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