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Lottery winnings are mere peanuts in Finland

August 23, 2006
Veikkaus has been in business for more than 65 years and holds the monopoly on lottery gaming in Finland. They were the first to introduce on-line gaming in 1990; internet gaming in 1995 and "live" gaming in 2004 – aimed primarily at sports betting.
 
The daily lotto Keno was launched in 2002 and has been a big hit. You can get Keno results from the commercial TV station Nelonen (4) every evening. Veikkaus also has the monopoly on harness racing bets (75 V-pelit) and all sorts of on-line betting in Finland.
 
Recently a €4.3 million lotto jackpot was won by a man in Helsinki. It was the third highest jackpot in Finnish history. That is mere peanuts compared to the $30 million Super 7 jackpot that was won last year in Canada or the millions of dollars that is up for grabs in monstrous lotteries in the States.
 
I am little annoyed with scratch tickets, which can cost anywhere from €2-6 (if my memory serves me correctly). I remember the first time I bought a €3 scratch ticket and won €2 on it. All I was thinking at that time was, "Wha?… What a rip off!" At least in Ontario, if you buy a ticket that costs $3, the minimum prize amount is 3 bucks. The Ontario Lottery Corporation won’t stiff you out of that dollar, so at least you don’t feel cheated if you win. At least you can break even on a scratch ticket in Ontario – not so in Finland!
 
The Mr. has been playing lines on the Saturday Lotto draw for years. Like thousands of other Finns, he subscribes for 10 weeks at a time, which takes the pressure off of having to remember to play it every weekend. You can even get your lottery winnings deposited directly to your bank account. (Personally if I ever won big on a lottery I would want to experience the feeling of holding a big fat cheque or some cold hard cash in my hand – just to say I did it!) While the Mr. is still waiting to cash in BIG on Lotto, he did win about 6000 Finnish marks a few years back… and it came at a good time because he really did need it. I still laugh when I think about his reaction as he circled number after number on his ticket… he was jumping up and down in my living room and acting like he had just scored the winning goal in a crucial hockey game…
 
But all in all getting rich by playing the lotto is a dream in Finland. If you win back the cost of your ticket, you might be lucky! Okay – but it’s not all bad, Veikkaus and RAY plough much of the proceeds of lottery gaming into various worthy causes all around Finland and in some way, it probably benefits us all.
 
See more at: www.ray.fi and www.veikkaus.fi
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