Hong Kong’s tourism industry has been recovering slowly since mandatory quarantine for travelers from mainland China was dropped last September. But now the city is trying to attract more visitors by giving away free air tickets through a lottery program. But skeptics say it will have little impact.
The hongkong lottery is operated by the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC), which is best known for running horse racing, the most popular spectator sport in the territory. The HKJC is authorized by the Hong Kong government to operate the lottery alongside its primary business.
It works much like any other lotto game in that players select a combination of numbers from one to 49 and hope to match them all. In addition to the six main numbers, there is an extra number called the bonus ball which can help win some of the lower division prizes. The jackpot starts off at HK$8 million and can roll over until there is a winner. There are also special ‘Snowball’ draws on specific days such as public holidays and festivals with even bigger jackpots than the thrice weekly prizes.
The HKJC gives away millions in proceeds every year to a range of charities and community projects. The principal areas of support include sports and health, jobs and employment, the cultivation of culture and arts, opportunities and helping and volunteering. In the past decade alone, it has contributed over HK$10 billion. This makes it one of the largest donors in the world.