Lottery shop owner misses chance to win $42,000

TAIPEI, Taiwan - A couple has won NT$1 million (S$42,000) from a scratch-off lottery ticket that a shop owner had originally planned to save for himself.

The owner of the Dung Cheng lottery shop in Taitung County, Lai Wan-cheng, left a message on his Facebook saying that while he regretted selling the ticket he intended to keep for himself, he still congratulated the couple.

According to Lai, the young Puyuma couple, from one of Taiwan's indigenous groups, came to his shop on Feb. 7 to buy scratch-off lottery tickets. The couple tried several tickets in the shop and did not win anything at first. The couple then asked Lai if he had any NT$2,000 scratch-off tickets. Lai answered that he only had two, but he would not sell them since he wanted to save them for himself.

Lai eventually was persuaded to let the couple choose one of the tickets. The couple chose the left ticket without any hesitation, said Lai.

Lai said as the wife started to scratch off the ticket, it was like time had been frozen, and that he could still remember the facial expression of the young couple — a mixture of happiness and excitement. “They were too excited to say a word,” said Lai.

The young couple said that they had just been to the temple and then came to the lottery shop to try their luck, adding that they did not expect to really win NT$1 million.

Some Internet posters comforted Lai on his Facebook page, while others said it was his fault for not insisting on keeping the tickets. Others asked about the location of the lottery shop, saying that it may bring luck for other lottery ticket buyers. Lai only responded with a post saying “If I knew it earlier, I would not sell the ticket. However, there is no way to change what has happened.”