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The Government Lottery Office

State-owned enterprise under the Ministry of Finance. Though officially established in 1939 AD, lottery in Thailand has a history prior to this date. In 1874, the lottery was issued for the very first time on the occasion of the King Chulalongkorn, who granted permission to operate a lottery, and aiming to style it after the European lottery system, he appointed Mr. Alabaster, an Englishman, to be the Director of the Lottery Office, and the proceeds of the first lottery draw went toward defraying the costs for the import of goods used for setting up the Royal Museum, the country's first public museum, then established at the Sala Sahathai Samakhom (fig.) within the compound of the Grand Palace (fig.). Then, in 1917, King Wachirawut, granted permission to a group of Thai citizens to issude the British Patriotic Council Lottery, a ticket sold at 5 baht each, and in 1923, King Rama VI also granted permission to organize the Seua Pa Volunteer Lottery, under the name Million Baht Seua Pa Lottery, in order to raise funds to purchase guns for the Seua Pa Volunteer Unit, i.e. the Wild Tiger Corps. The guns were named Rama VI, after the King, and were later transferred to the possession of the Police Department. Then, in 1933, the Siamese Government Lottery was issued to raise funds for education and medication, and in the same year the Government authorized the Revenue Department to run the lottery sale in order to compensate a draft deferment tax rate which was previously reduced. In 1934, the Mahatthai, i.e. the Ministry of Interior, sought permission to issue a Municipal Lottery to raise funds for municipal affairs, which was authorized by the Cabinet, but ordered ticket sales delayed to the end of 1935 and the draw conducted in April 1936, in order not to coincide with the Government Lottery. The Municipal Lottery issued 500,000 tickets that were sold at 1 baht each. Since then, regular issuances of both the Municipal Lottery and the Government Lottery followed, operated by the Revenue Department and the Ministry of Interior. Eventually, on 5 April 1939, The Government Lottery Office was established by the Cabinet of Phibun Songkram and the management of the Municipal Lottery and the Government Lottery were transferred to the Ministry of Finance, which appointed the first Government Lottery Committee a Draw Board, with Phraya Phrommathat Sriphilaht (พระยาพรหมทัตศรีพิลาส) as its chairman. In 1951, The Government Lottery Office built the Printing Office in order to start printing its own tickets and in 1952 installed its own printing presses. In 1956, it opened its first offices on Ratchadamnoen Klang Road in Bangkok, where it stayed until 2013, when it moved to Sanam Bin Nahm district in Nonthaburi. At present, there is a government lottery draw twice per month, i.e. on the 1st and 16th. All lottery tickets are sold in pairs with the same numbers repeated, meaning that any prize you win is effectively doubled. In 2022, the standard lottery pair ticket costs 80 baht, but many are being hawked for higher rates, especially for tickets with so-called lucky numbers, such as the number nine. This has prompted The Government Lottery Office to mandate that the price of a ticket is capped at 80 baht per pair and warned vendors that anyone caught inflating prices will be fined. All tickets have six digits and if all 6 digits match in the correct order, it wins the top prize, and there is a consolation prize if the last number on the ticket is just one higher or one below the wining number, e.g. if 912345 is the winning number, both 912344 and 912346 receive the consolation prize. Then there are new draws for the 5, 4, 3, and 2 last numbers on the ticket. The smallest prize is for tickets that match the last two digits on the ticket. The emblem of The Government Lottery Office consists of an octagonal star, with at its centre an ornamental circle that contains a depiction of Vayuphak, a mythological bird (fig.) believed to guard treasure and also used as the logo of the Ministry of Finance, as well as the text Samnakngaan Salahk Kin Baeng Rattabahn (สำนักงานสลากกินแบ่งรัฐบาล), i.e. Government Lottery Office. See also salahk kin baeng and POSTAGE STAMP.