Lottery cash pile of $13.5 million triggers dreams of Dolce Vita
The picture of a pile of 80 million Turkish Liras of cash, roughly $13.5 million, has excited millions of Turkish citizens, who are rushing to buy traditional New Year’s Eve lottery tickets.
The grand prize was presented to the public at a Vakıf Bank branch in Ankara on Dec. 25.
The national lottery is held in three ticket categories – full, half and quarter – which means that the grand prize might either go to one person who bought a full ticket or two or four people depending on the draw results.
Starting from this year, people can buy shares in tickets online, but the traditional sales from the booths or street vendors are still commonplace.
The cash pile consists of 400 bundles, with 1,000 banknotes of 200 Turkish Liras, the biggest in circulation today.
Officials of Milli Piyango, the national lottery, said it weighs 500 kilograms. If the prize money was gathered in 100-lira banknotes it would weigh 800 kilograms.
People worked three days for eight hours to count the money, officials said.
They calculated that the winner, if the lottery goes to a full ticket, can buy approximately 320 cars for 250,000 liras ($42,000) each with the prize money.
This also is equivalent to 160 apartments for 500,000 liras ($84,000) each.
The monthly interest income of the sum is calculated approximately at 600,000 ($101,000).
Milli Piyango chair Murtaza Çakır told Anadolu Agency that some 80 percent of the tickets have already been sold, mimicking last year’s retail trend.
“Tickets in the depots in Ankara have been finished. Sales continue at branches, booths and digital terminals,” he said.
The draw for the grand prize and second prize of 8 million liras ($1.35 million) begins at 8 a.m. local time on Dec. 31.
The sum of the total prize to be distributed this year stands at 390.9 million liras, ($65.8 million).
Full tickets are sold at 70 liras ($11.8), as half tickets are for 35 and quarters are for 17.5 liras.
The yearend also marks a deadline for last year’s winner, with the 70 million liras ($11.8 million) of prize still waiting for its mysterious owner. If the winner fails to show up in five days, the prize money will be handled to the Treasury.