Queues of people clutching their Toto slips snaked out of Singapore Pools outlets yesterday, all dreaming of the record $13.9 million prize for tomorrow's Toto Hongbao Draw.
Some travelled across the island to the so-called "luckier" outlets - those that have sold the most winning tickets.
"I came all the way from Jurong East to buy Toto here because many people have won big prizes here," said Mr Sun Liang, 78, who is unemployed. He was spotted in line at the FairPrice outlet in Tanjong Pagar.
When The Straits Times visited the outlet, there were still around 30 people queueing to get their hands on a ticket at around 6pm, just an hour before closing time.
Retiree S. Rananathan, 75, was one of the hopefuls who waited in line for around 20 minutes. "Many people have won the top prize here before," he said.
And there were 24 people in the queue at the 7-Eleven store in Yishun Avenue 5, thought by most to be the luckiest outlet, having apparently sold 30 winning tickets so far.
Part-time storeman Richard Tan, 65, hoped the outlet's luck would rub off on him: "Who knows, I might just be that one lucky man who becomes a millionaire overnight."
At another outlet in Yishun, lighting engineer Muthu Kumar, 31, said: "If money comes in, I'm happy."
The jackpot for the special annual draw snowballed to $13.9 million when nobody won the Group 1 prize of $1.9 million in Monday's draw.
To win the Group 1 prize, a punter must pick all six winning numbers. However, the jackpot may grow even larger, depending on Toto ticket sales. In each draw, 54 per cent of the sales is added to the prize pool.
The final prize amounts for the Hongbao Draw will be known only when sales close at 9pm tomorrow.
If more than one ticket holder matches all six numbers, the jackpot is shared, which happened last year, when there were two winners of the $12 million Hongbao Draw. Last Thursday, $9.5 million was scooped by one ticket holder - the largest amount won by a single punter.
Tomorrow's draw will start at 9.30pm at the Singapore Pools Building at 210 Middle Road.
The results will be posted online at www.singaporepools.com.sg from 10.30pm, as well as on the Singapore Pools Results Facebook page and Singapore Pools Twitter page. Results will also be published in all major local daily newspapers the following day.
According to the Singapore Pools website, the odds of winning the six-number jackpot for each ordinary entry is one in 13,983,816.
Photo: The New Paper
This article was first published on February 18, 2016.
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