The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Playwin loses out to two-digit Naga lottery

Gangtok, Dec. 17: The Playwin online lottery has been hit hard by the entry of the two-digit lottery of Nagaland.

The lottery, which began earlier this month with permission from the directorate of state lotteries, has scored over Playwin in drawing crowds. The lottery has been attracting taxi drivers, office-goers and students in large numbers.

However, a shadow of doubt exists about the legality of the lottery, as the guarantees of the win appear to be like the single-digit, which was banned by the Supreme Court.

Seventeen draws are held everyday at half-an-hour intervals. The lucky ones win amounts ranging from Rs 100 for a ticket to Rs 1,000. The draws are held from 9 am and 5 pm.

The game is played by purchasing tickets costing Rs 1.10 each. There are as many as 10 tickets in a single leaf and costs Rs 11. Each of these boxes in the leaf has six-digit figures. The second last digit of the tickets is the winning number in each draw game. But the results declared are that of the last two digits in the series.

Vendors get the results over the phone from the central terminal, which gets the results from Nagaland via the phone, sources said. Acting on complaints that the two-digit lottery game is actually drawn on single digits, the state finance department had asked the directorate of lotteries to conduct an inquiry. A senior finance department official said investigation had begun to find out whether the Lottery Regulations Act of 1998 was being violated and whether the game was being played on a single-digit basis.

The state government had banned the operation of single digit lotteries in Sikkim in 1993 through a notification issued by the directorate. The two-digit lotteries of the Nagaland government, however, does not technically fall under the single digitcategory since the results declared are that of two digits, including various other norms.

This has caused problems for police who cannot take any action against lottery operators. The police have written to the lotteries directorate informing that the game is actually played on single digits.

The game has made inroads into the market of the two online games of Playwin, the Lucky Three and the Sikkim Thunderball.

While draws for the Lucky Three are held every day, the Thunderball is drawn on Tuesdays.

When asked about the understanding with the Nagaland government on the sale of lotteries here, directorate officials said that the deal was “reciprocal”.

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