Chinese lottery players are awarded a special honor for their 34.4 billion yuan (US$4.9 billion) contribution for the public good last year, according to the Beijing News on Sunday.
Chinese lottery buyers have made the greatest contribution to public welfare fund collection, exceeding the country's individual and enterprise donations, which stood at 22.3 billion yuan in total in 2007, according to China Association of Social Workers under the Ministry of Civil Affairs.
The association put the lottery buyers, together with 149 philanthropists and 325 enterprises, into its annual charity ranking list.
The 149 philanthropists and 325 enterprises, respectively donated 1.7 billion yuan and 5.5 billion yuan.
Last year, China's lottery sales reached 101.7 billion, an increase of 18 billion yuan or 20 percent over 2006, setting a 20-year record in China's lottery history.
In China, a minimum of 35 percent of takings must go to the welfare sector. For a 2 yuan lottery ticket, 70 cents is spent on public welfare.
China had issued more than 460 billion yuan lottery tickets since it was launched in 1987, and lottery sales have contributed more than 150 billion yuan to public welfare fund.
Lottery ticket sales are one of the major sources of funds for building community sports facilities and financing the country's social welfare programs.
(Xinhua News Agency April 28, 2008)