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It's a Sure Thing for Lottery Sales

Sales of China's Welfare Lottery, the only national lottery approved by the government, have exceeded 40 billion yuan (US$5.3 billion) this year, up 22.7 percent over the same period last year, the lottery watchdog reported.

Lottery sales have also raised more than 13.7 billion yuan (US$1.8 billion) for welfare, said a spokesman for the China Welfare Lottery Management Center.

The computer-based lottery is the favorite form of investment for China's gamblers.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of China's welfare industry. Vice Premier Hui Liangyu said at a ceremony in July that the welfare lottery industry had made great contributions to the nation.

The lottery has collected 242.3 billion yuan over the past two decades, of which 80.9 billion yuan has been earmarked for national public welfare fund.

The Ministry of Civil Affairs said the fund was mostly used for the development of social welfare facilities, the education and care of orphans, the elderly and the disabled. More than 10 million people have benefited from the fund.

(Xinhua News Agency September 10, 2007)

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