Lottery Hongkong is one of the most popular legal forms of gambling in the city. Hundreds of thousands of people have tried their luck with the Mark Six lottery, and others bet on horse races, football matches or other games run by the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC), a non-profit-making organization that holds the city’s monopoly over all major legal channels of gambling.
According to the HKJC, players have a 1 in 50 chance of winning a prize. The smallest prize is HK$1,000, and larger amounts are paid out in cash. Winners can collect their prizes from off-course HKJC betting branches or by post. All prizes must be claimed within 60 days.
Occasionally, the HKJC also holds special Mark Six “Snowball Draws” that have much bigger jackpot figures. The HKJC takes a percentage of the money spent on tickets for the regular weekly drawings and adds it to the jackpot pool for these draws, which can reach spectacular sums. The Snowball Draws are usually held on holidays and during festivals such as the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival, Chinese New Year, Easter and Christmas.
The smuggling of these tickets was probably done to circumvent the HKJC’s rules, which require that all lottery purchases be made in person. The smugglers were arrested when customs officials stopped a boat at the port and found more than a dozen of the tickets. They would have been worth about $20K at face value. Starting March 1, travelers can enter a lottery to win free flights on three Hong Kong airlines: Cathay Pacific, HK Express and Hong Kong Airlines. The first batch of free airline tickets will go to residents of Southeast Asia, followed by mainland China in April and the rest of the world in May.