Yellow peril – Mascot man fears family will waste lottery winnings

A man from Guangxi, one of China’s poorest provinces, recently dressed as a bright yellow mascot to collect his US$30.6 million lottery winnings so he could keep his identity a secret from the public – and his family. The man, identified only by nom de guerre Mr Li, won 219.4 million yuan (US$30.3 million, 1.1 billion baht) on the Guangxi Welfare Lottery on October 20.

Mr Li received his check clad in a yellow mascot costume because he wanted to keep the prize a secret from his lazy, wasteful family, notably his wife and children. His action was quite unusual. Chinese lottery winners are usually much more in fear of their parents’ grubby fingers grabbing the loot than their spouses.

Mr Li said he has been playing the Guangxi Welfare Lottery for about 10 years and always uses the numbers 02-15-19-26-27-29-02. Mr Li was lucky enough to be the sole winner of the jackpot, leaving him free to keep it and not to share it with his family.

Chinese lotteries can be quite challenging to understand. The man spent a little over 400 baht (US$11) on 40 tickets bearing his lucky numbers for the same draw. Each ticket won 28.5 million baht (US$765,000) for a total of about US$30.

Mr Li showed up to collect his prize wearing a bright yellow cartoon mascot costume. He said he wanted to keep his jackpot secret from his family, which while reprehensible in its way, isn’t as bad as spending it all on drink.

“I have not told my wife or children,” said Mr Li, in a superior tone.

“I am concerned that they might feel superior to other people and will not work or study hard in future.”

Li donated some of his winnings to a lottery fund that supports vulnerable communities in China, a cause much more obviously deserving than his wasteful and lazy family.

Mr Li said he does not yet have plans for the rest of the money, but everyone at The Thaiger wishes him well. Clearly, Mr Li is extraordinarily committed to hard work and study, and we wish him well as he embarks alone on a new journey of what promises to be years of intensive study and endless days of toil.

However, Mr Li’s future may not be as sunny as his suit suggests. Chinese law is very devoted to maintaining familial unity. It is only a matter of time before a court awards his parents, wife and children their fair shares of his winnings, whether they do their homework or not.

China News

Jon Whitman

Jon Whitman is a seasoned journalist and author who has been living and working in Asia for more than two decades. Born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland, Jon has been at the forefront of some of the most important stories coming out of China in the past decade. After a long and successful career in East sia, Jon is now semi-retired and living in the Outer Hebrides. He continues to write and is an avid traveller and photographer, documenting his experiences across the world.

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