The Hong Kong Lottery follows a similar format to the UK version with six numbers drawn from a range of 1-49 and an additional bonus ball. It is played every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday evening at 9:30PM Hong Kong time. The prize payouts are based on total ticket sales. Each ticket costs HK$10 and players can place bets online through a number of bookies.
In addition to the usual prizes, there are a series of special draws called the Snowball and Jackpot Draws which can build up to enormous sums. These are held on random days, usually coinciding with unique festivals or public holidays. The first prize payout can also go up to a staggering HK$100 million or more.
Illegal gambling takes a big slice of the market in Hong Kong but the legal lottery is still a major source of revenue for officials. In the 2009-2010 financial year, it raised more than HK$20 billion. Some of this is paid in taxes while the rest is earmarked for social programs.
However, the massive payouts from hongkong lottery have caused concern among some experts who warn that it may encourage problem gamblers to indulge in this destructive activity. John Tse Wing-ling, an associate professor at the Department of Applied Social Studies, said that the huge prize money could give people false hope and trigger youngsters to take up this pathological habit. It is important for responsible betting organizations not to fan the flames of this frenzy, he added.