Lottery line grows as final countdown for New Year starts
ISTANBUL – Demirören News Agency
As people want to buy New Year’s Eve national lottery tickets before they are sold out, long lines are being seen in front of the famous lottery booth in Istanbul’s Eminönü district.
The grand prize this year amounts to 80 million Turkish Liras (nearly $13.7 million), and a full fare ticket is sold for 80 liras. It is also possible to buy a half fare or a quarter fare ticket.
Even some Istanbul residents from suburban districts fell in a line to buy a ticket from the Nimet Abla (Big Sister Nimet) lottery booth in Eminönü. For 90 years, the lottery booth has drawn large numbers of Turks, filled with hope in these troubled economic times, largely because it has convinced people that it is there that they have the best chance of winning.
“We have dreams. If I win, I will buy a flat for each of my children and then go on an around-the-world tour,” said retired man Keman Şanlı as he waited in the line for a ticket.
“We live with hope. Nimet Abla is not famous for nothing. We come here from faraway districts. I’ve come from Bahçelievler. There are some people coming from other provinces,” he added.
“My priority is to buy a flat. After buying a flat, I’m thinking of starting a business. Then, I will donate to an orphanage,” said Hülya Işın, a local woman from the Ataşehir district on the Anatolian side of the metropolis.
“I will buy two quarter fare tickets. I’ll also buy tickets for my colleagues. I’ll be in Istanbul with my family on the New Year’s Eve. If I win, I’ll come here [to celebrate], of course,” she said.
Şahinda Akyürek from the Aegean province of Manisa, which is some 430 kilometers southwest of Istanbul, was in the line too.
“I will buy two half fare tickets. I dream about helping my kith and kin. I’ll be in Manisa on New Year’s Eve, but my son lives here. If I win, I’ll come to see him,” she said.
On Dec. 15, when the weather was sunny with the thermometer showing 14 degrees Celsius, it took about 40 minutes in the line to buy a lottery ticket from the Nimet Abla booth.