Kochi: The state government has been a big winner with unclaimed lottery prizes touching a whopping Rs 291.5 crore in the last five years. The state, meanwhile, has distributed Rs 6,498 crore in prize money to the winners during this period.
The government revealed the details in a Right to Information reply to Kochi-based techie Dhanaraj Subhash Chandran. According to the State Lottery Department, from July 2010 to July 2015, Rs 291.5 crore was listed in the unclaimed prizes list. “The unclaimed money would be added to the state exchequer,” the RTI said.
Till August this year, Rs 11 crore prize money tickets were either unsold or unclaimed. Interestingly, the Kerala state lotteries had not made loss since its inception.
According to the department, it had a profit of Rs 788.42 crore in the 2013-14 financial year, the largest ever, while it made Rs 681.76 crore in profit in 2012-13.
When the state lottery was started in 1967, the total revenue from sales was only Rs 20 lakh. The profit alone touched Rs 625.74 crore in 2009-2010 and Rs 557.69 crore in 2010-2011.
The department now boasts of more than 35,000 authorised agents and over 100,000 retail sellers.
The department now rolls out seven weekly lotteries such as Pratheeksha, Dhanasree, Win-Win, Akshaya, Bhagyanidhi, Karunya and Pournami lotteries and six bumper lotteries.
Besides the six bumper lotteries, the number of weekly lotteries has risen to six and two biweekly lotteries have also been launched. A new lottery offering gold coins as prizes has been launched and the department has restructured Chaithanya lottery in the name of Chaithanya Car Plus.
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