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Surge in lottery tickets in China amid economic gloom

April sales of Chinese lottery tickets jumped to their highest in a decade, data showed on Wednesday, with economists saying young people in particular were keener to try their luck amid greater economic uncertainty in the wake of the pandemic.

The world’s second-largest economy is recovering from three years of stringent COVID-19 curbs, growing 4.5 percent in the first quarter, but April data suggested the momentum was weakening, and the youth jobless rate hit a record high of 20.4 percent.

Nationwide lottery sales jumped 62 percent on the year to 50.33 billion yuan (USD 7.28 bln), for the highest April figure in a decade, while the first four months brought in 175.15 bln yuan, up 49.3 percent on the year, finance ministry data showed.

“Earning one million is not as good as winning one million,” said Freddie Xiao, a 28-year-old woman working on content marketing for an internet company, as she bought some lottery tickets in a mall in Beijing, the capital.

Xiao was motivated by worries about losing her job, she said.

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