The new ticket, issued by the Dong Nai Province Lottery Company, was launched on Thursday as a means to allow players the ability to write their own numbers onto lottery tickets instead of purchasing traditional pre-printed numbers.
The tickets are sold at three different price tiers - VND10,000, VND20,000 and VND50,000 (US$0.45, US$0.9 and US$2.25) – with buyers able to fill in two, three, or four numbers depending on which tier they purchase.
Results will be announced based on lottery drawings the same day in Ho Chi Minh City and the southern provinces of Ba Ria – Vung Tau, Dong Nai, Tay Ninh, Binh Duong, and Tien Giang.
|Three sample write-in lottery tickets featured on a promotional poster for the Dong Nai Lottery Company.
The company’s chairman Pham Minh Dao said a drop in revenue and a loss of market share to rival Vietlott prompted the company to introduce the new product.
“We want to diversify our lottery tickets and allow players more buying options in order to generate more jobs for local workers and provide a larger contribution to the public budget,” Dao said.
However, the company's new ticket has come under skepticism for its striking resemblance to 'so de', an illegal lottery-based gambling game popular in Vietnam.
'So de' players bet money on two-digit numbers of their choice, which are often inspired by what they see in their dreams. For example, one will bet on the '11' number should they dream of a dog the night before.
The winning so de number of each day is determined by the last two digits of the jackpot combination drawn the same day by traditional lottery companies.
Vietlott, or Vietnam Computerized Lottery Company, is fully owned by the Ministry of Finance. The company has received an enormous amount of media attention since introducing the Mega 6/45 computerized lottery in July.
The lottery’s minimum jackpot is VND12 billion (US$537,600), which is rolled over into subsequent drawings until a winner is found.
Vietlott last year reported a revenue of VND1 trillion (US$44.64 million), and announced its vision to control 30 percent of the lottery market in Vietnam in the next few years.
In 2016, the Dong Nai Lottery Company reported over VND3.8 trillion (US$169.64 million) in revenue, making it the fourth largest traditional lottery company in southern Vietnam in terms of ticket sales.