|all photographs used with permission - timinphuket|
Thailand is a Buddhist country where most forms of gambling are prohibited by law (including casinos, sports betting and playing cards in your own home). But as Thais love to gamble, right down to the street vendors and poor rural farmers - we have a flourishing illegal trillion Baht gambling industry instead. The state owned lottery is one of two forms of gambling allowed in Thailand, (the other is horse racing, oh! and the stock market ;)).
The 6,000,000 Baht first-prize lottery is issued by the State Lottery Bureau twice a month with drawings held on the first and fifteenth of each month, unlike the U.K. Lottery which has drawings twice a week on every Wednesday and Saturday. The numbers on the Thai Lottery Tickets are six digits.
There is also an underground lottery based on the States Lottery's Winning Number but with more betting options, which at one time seemed to overtake the State Lottery in terms of profit margins. So the state decided to incorporate some of these underground betting options in its own lottery - to both increase its margins and try to wean people of the illegal bets - on the latter it has yet to succeed.
So wherever you travel in Thailand, especially at the beginning and middle of the month, you will see lottery vendors' tables lining the pavements. You will also see lottery vendors carrying batches of such tickets attached to display boards, walking the streets looking for buyers, and approaching people in restaurants and at food stalls to buy Thai Lottery Tickets. To play on the underground lottery, you have to know "someone in the know" - try asking your maid.
(Tim - I think that my editor buys these tickets)