In the world of TV there are few shows that have as much impact on the lives of ordinary people quite as much as lottery broadcasts. From productions in the US and the UK to local lottery shows, these programs are among the most watched anywhere in the world.
However, for all China’s expertise when it comes to TV programming, it seems as though the government is not quite up to airing a lottery show. A news report at the close of January gave rise to the claim that the Chinese National lottery may have been rigged.
During a transmission on January 25, the plug was mysteriously pulled and the $80 million draw was apparently cancelled due to a “technical glitch”. The incident quickly caused widespread speculation that something was not right as players were not able to verify if their numbers had been called.
Indeed, unlike other organizations across the world that transmit data via the web so that customers can view quick lottery results moments after a TV broadcast, the China Welfare Lottery Issuing and Management Centre mainly publishes its results via its TV broadcasts.
However, after the channel went down and the draw was taken off the air, people were left in a state of confusion. Then, just a few moments after a news source had reported that there had been a problem with processing the lottery data, a winner was announced via the organisation’s Weibo blog.
Describing the winner as a “young immigrant worker in Guangzhou City”, the post explained that the jackpot had been won and the man was preparing to receive his prize. However, given the unexpected nature of the botched broadcast, coupled with the vague description of the winner, people are now calling for an investigation into the incident.
Has the Chinese government produced one of the sneakiest TV stunts in history or was it a genuine technical error? We will probably never know, but the whole affair has certainly generated some unwanted attention regarding the way China handles its lottery broadcasts.