Feeling lucky? Try your luck at winning a lottery

Champa Thushara, like many other Sri Lankans, buys a lottery ticket every week for the past 15 years in the hopes of winning big.

Buyers are being sought.
Numerous other Sri Lankans, like him, have a habit of participating in lotteries. Consider how many times you’ve purchased a lottery ticket in the hopes of becoming the next big winner. Every week, millions of Sri Lankans do it, but only a select few reap the benefits. What are the chances of hitting the jackpot if you haven’t yet taken the gamble or don’t participate in this?

The National Lotteries Board (NLB) sold an incredible 5.3 million tickets for that week when the grand prize for Mahajana Sampatha, the most popular of all lotteries, reached over Rs.60 million. It was first drawn on Tuesday and Friday of each week in 1968 and was previously known as the Jathika Sampatha. M.S. Karunaratne, the NLB’s General Manager, proudly informs us that the NLB has won the SLIM award for the most popular brand, so it should come as no surprise that individuals spend an average of Rs.25–30 million per week on tickets in the hopes of winning the super prize of Rs. 10 million or one of the three Rs.1 million prizes.

However, only about 5 million lottery tickets are printed and distributed out of a total of 25 million that could have been printed for the Mahajana Sampatha. The remaining 20 million or so tickets were never printed. This means that the winning ticket could have been one of the 20 million or so tickets that were never printed and, as a result, never circulated.

This raises a critical question that must be addressed. Are people aware that there’s a good chance the winning ticket isn’t in circulation when they buy lottery tickets? Would anyone buy a ticket if they knew their chances of winning on any given week were slim to none? To find out, we polled a diverse group of people to see how well they knew about lotteries. The majority of people who said they rarely bought lottery tickets were the most surprised to learn that the winning ticket might never be printed.

“That’s not very fair,” one man said, surprised and perplexed by the revelation. He went on to say that he doesn’t buy lottery tickets very often, but when he does, he wants to know that he stands a good chance of winning. When it came to regular ticket buyers, the results were mixed. Some were aware, but for others, it was a startling revelation. For the past ten years, a caretaker has been purchasing tickets every week from his hometown of Kotmale and Colombo, where he now works. He has yet to win anything, as is usually the case. He was completely unaware that not all tickets are printed and distributed for sale. He said, however, that he won’t stop buying tickets because he hopes to win big one day. His wife, on the other hand, was not as understanding of the situation. She told her husband after some consideration that it made her sad to consider how much money they could have saved over the years if they hadn’t purchased any tickets.

The Sunday Times FT went behind the scenes to find out what goes into giving you the big bag of gold, in order to answer more of your burning questions.

Are you looking for a winning lottery ticket?
The Treasury Department of the Ministry of Finance is directly responsible for the NLB. A board of directors, chaired by an executive Chairman, meets twice a month. The NLB employs 263 people, including 62 district dealers and around 3000 agents.

The lottery tickets are printed by the State Printing Corporation, and the draw machine is computerized (SPC). The machine generates the combination of ticket numbers at random. The number of tickets printed for each lottery is determined by market demand.

The printing services of private sector printing companies are used by all other lotteries. Private companies, according to Karunaratne, follow the same procedure as the SPC. When securing private printing companies, he explained, there are specifications and conditions laid out in the tender document. “They signed an agreement with us, and if there are any issues like duplicate tickets due to their negligence, they not only have to answer to the NLB, but they also have to bear the costs,” Karunaratne explained. The NLB also conducts weekly inspections of these private printers to ensure that everything is in order.

According to Karunaratne, the process is completely automated, unlike in the past when it was done manually, and there are several security measures in place during the lottery ticket printing process. “We take several precautions to avoid ticket duplication,” Karunaratne insisted, even mentioning that the paper used to print the tickets is unique. He explained that, in the past, NLB employees were forbidden from participating in lotteries due to the manual process involved, but that now that everything is computer automated, they are free to do so as much as they want. In fact, he claims to be a regular lottery player.

Transparency is important.
The NLB is governed by the 1963 Finance Act, which includes rules and regulations that have been published in the Federal Register. “Every draw must have the GM present, and all draws must be witnessed by police officers above the rank of ASP,” Karunaratne said. He also stated that a nominee from the Department of the Auditor General, usually a chartered accountant, must be present. In addition to the GM, another NLB director will be present at the draw, and in some cases, the NLB will invite officers from the relevant ministries to attend as well. “The entire process is being closely monitored,” Karunaratne stated.

The balls used in the draws are inspected every week by the ITI, a government agency that certifies weights and measurements. Furthermore, if the auditors want to check the weights at random, the NLB has no objections to that. The balls are then safely stored in a locked compartment, with one key in the hands of the auditor and the other in the hands of the NLB, to prevent any ball tampering or manipulation.

NLB Administrator Chaminda Abeyratne showed us how each ticket has a unique computerized bar code that is scanned in the database to verify its authenticity (he must have been feeling lucky!). Winning tickets are also sent to the Government Examiner of Questioned Documents (EQD) for verification and analysis. If the super prize is not claimed in a given week, the winnings are accumulated and carried over to the next week. However, keep in mind that prize money is subject to government taxes.

According to the NLB’s ticket sales figures, it appears that many people are hoping to win the grand prize! The Govisetha, which is drawn every Monday, sells between 1.7 and 2 million tickets per week.

The Mahajana Sampatha is drawn every Tuesday and Friday, with an average of 2.5 to 3.0 million tickets sold. The Jayaviru, which was created specifically for the families of soldiers, will be drawn on Wednesday. The lottery sells about 1.3 to 1.4 million tickets per week, with 15 to 20% of the proceeds going to Treasury Department-managed funds. “They look after the families of our fallen heroes and provide them with things like housing,” Karunaratne said. The Vasana Sampatha, which sells 1.5–2.0 million tickets weekly, was created for the Social Services Department and disaster management on Thursday.

It is difficult to deny that this is a staggering amount of money generated each week through ticket sales. So, where does all of this cash go? When a person purchases an average lottery ticket for Rs.10, they are automatically contributing to one of the NLB’s many social service projects. The remainder is divided among a variety of other stakeholders. Fifty percent of the money, or Rs.5, is returned to the board. A ten-cent commission is paid to district dealers, while a Rs.1.50 commission is paid to agents. The Treasury Department receives 15% of the money, leaving the NLB with only 19 cents to cover its costs, as Karunaratne somberly points out. “The district dealers have a good margin because the volume of tickets sold is high,” Karunaratne said.

Although lottery winners can choose to keep their identities hidden, the majority prefer to make their fortune public. “Our main concern is to ensure their safety,” Karunaratne said. So rest assured that if you win and don’t want the rest of the country to know, the NLB will gladly comply with your request. The winner of the Rs.60 million Mahajana Sampatha from Ratnapura has yet to claim his prize, but rest assured that when he does, he will be ecstatic.

Development Lotteries Board produces 17 millionaires again

The Development Lotteries Board (DLB) has the pleasure of making the highest number of winners from the beginning of this month as well as the previous month, reviving a golden period in its history.

As a result, the DLB could increase the number of super winners and winners from the previous month, resulting in another batch of millionaires, including a cash prize winner of Rs.3.7 million, while maintaining its unbeaten record as the presenter of the most cash prizes.

DLB Chairman A.S.P. Suriyapperuma presented the cash prizes to the winners at the DLB auditorium recently, with the participation of Working Director H.R. Wimalasiri and General Manager J.M. Jayasinghe.

W.I.G. Wijebandara from Hingurakgoda won the super jackpot of Rs.5,22,13,805 in the 073rd draw of ‘Ada Kotipathi,’ and a cash prize was also given to A.K.S. Malkanthi, the Kotte sales agent who sold the winning ticket.

S.N.S.N. Kumara of Chilaw won the super jackpot of Rs.37,59,094 in the 088th ‘Sanwardana Wasana’ draw, and P.V.D.D. Appuhami of the same area received a cash prize for selling the winning ticket.

In addition to these jackpots, 13 other prize winners of DLB lotteries such as ‘Laagna Wasana,’ ‘Niyatha Jaya,’ ‘Ada Kotipathi,’ ‘Shanida Wasana,’ ‘Jayoda,’ ‘Kotipathi Shanida,’ and ‘Super Ball’ each received Rs.2 million and Rs.1 million.

The DLB, while relishing the satisfaction of creating millionaires and awarding cash prizes, emphasized that its goal is to improve the lives of the people of the country by producing future winners. As a result, the DLB invites you to take a chance on the DLB lottery tickets.

The lottery business A case of probability over luck?

There has been no follow-up to see if the Mahapola Fund has received any appropriate contributions.
NLB is optimistic about the future of digitisation and the sale of more tickets via electronic means.

“We get Rs. 2.50 per ticket, and we pay the agent a percentage of sales every day. The business is fine, but sales have dropped as a result of the attacks.”
-Mangala- is a slang term for a person who is

You are not alone if you have ever bought a lottery ticket and been disappointed. Many people bet Rs. 20 on their luck every day in the hopes of winning the jackpot. It’s common to see ticket sellers approaching you on your commute, shouting out enticing slogans like “ada adina wasanawa” (luck to be drawn today), “ada adina koti deke jayamalla” (a twenty million super prize to be drawn today), and so on, in an attempt to persuade you to buy at least one ticket. Others, on the other hand, spend Rs. 5000-6000 per month on bulk ticket purchases and keeping track of the daily draws. The National Lotteries Board (NLB) and the Development Lotteries Board (DLB) control the Sri Lankan lottery market, which operates as a duopoly. Aside from luck, the winner is determined by a complex probability game played behind the scenes. According to a special report produced by the Attorney General’s (AG) Department, this is especially true of the tickets printed by the DLB.

In this context, the Dailymirror examines how ticket sales have declined over time and how this has impacted those directly involved in the lottery industry.


The AG Department discovered that the DLB printed fewer tickets than the number of balls used in a given draw, as well as fewer tickets than the permuted number. (For example, if the permuted number of Ada Kotipathi tickets is 31,601,700, only 420,000 tickets have been printed.)
A draw machine’s number of balls indicates that a large number of tickets will be printed.
The prize formula for approval by the Director Board was based on ticket allocation rather than the number of printed tickets. As a result, the Attorney General concluded that the chances of winning a super prize were extremely slim.
Between 2012 and 2017, the President’s Fund received 19 percent of all sales revenue.
There has been no follow-up to see if the Mahapola Fund has received any appropriate contributions.
As a result, the AG has requested a proper methodology for printing new lotteries, determining the number of balls inserted into the draw machine, determining the number of tickets to be printed per draw, the number of draws to be held, and determining the structure and percentage of prizes.

‘Sales have dropped,’ say lottery sellers.

We met Mangala, a mobile lottery seller who operates near the Gangarama Temple and the Hyde Park area, on our way to Pettah. “We are paid Rs. 2.50 per ticket, and we pay the agent a percentage of sales every day. Although business is good, the attacks have caused a drop in sales. It depends on how far we walk in order to persuade customers to purchase them.”

The chances of winning with NLB tickets are higher.


“I make a daily income of Rs. 1000.” We also have competition because there are more counters around. We get Rs. 2.50 per ticket as a daily commission.”

-Shantha Herath- is the name of a character in the film Shantha Herath

Shantha Herath, a ticket counter employee in Pettah, was one of the people we met. “Both NLB and DLB lotteries are available for purchase. The odds of winning on NLB tickets are higher. A customer recently won a prize of Rs. 20 lakhs. We didn’t have any business a few weeks ago due to the rain, and people aren’t out and about much after the attacks. I make a daily income of Rs. 1000 and nothing more. We also have competition because there are more counters around. We get Rs. 2.50 per ticket as a daily commission.”

Seeing ticket sellers contact you on a regular basis is a common occurrence.
Kithsiri De Mel took the photographs.

Luck plays a part in winning.

Keerthisinghe, who has been in the business since 1995, has his own ticket counter near Chatham Street. “Winning is a game of chance. The chances of winning for both NLB and DLB tickets are the same. They are required to set aside a certain amount of money. After these percentages have been deducted, the pricing structure for winners is established.

Some people believe that if they buy in bulk, they will have a better chance of winning, but this is not always the case. The agent receives Rs. 2500 from both Boards if someone wins a big prize. Agents earn Rs. 3.50 per ticket in commission. In addition, we must pay the Municipal Council an annual fee.”

People are losing faith in purchasing tickets.

‘‘I spent Rs. 15,000 on this counter, but the business is losing money.” Many tickets are discarded because people are no longer convinced to purchase them.”

-Silva, Jayanthi-

For the past 15 years, Jayanthi Silva of Gunasinghapura has worked in the lottery industry. “I used to sell tickets near the Manning Market, and now I’m here,” says the seller. The sales of tickets are extremely low. This counter cost me Rs. 15,000 to install, but it is losing money. People are no longer convinced to buy tickets, so we throw away a lot of them.”

It’s tough to make a living in this industry.

‘‘There were a couple of occasions when people won big prizes as a result of my sales, but that was it. Every day, I stay until 9.30 p.m.’

Rohana, K.G.


Another Gunasinghapura ticket seller, K.G Rohana, claims that the majority of his customers are dissatisfied with their purchases. “Those who purchase them on a regular basis would do so regardless. However, there is a slim chance of winning. There were a couple of times when people won large prizes as a result of my sales, but that was it. Every day, I have to stay until 9.30 p.m. to give the agent my daily commission. It will be difficult to succeed in this business in the future if we keep going at this pace.”

You have a chance of winning with NLB tickets: Nissanka is a fictional character created by Nissanka

1.2 million Mahajana Sampatha tickets and one million Govisetha tickets were sold in a single day.

Sujeewa Nissanka, Sujeewa Nissanka, Nissanka, Nissanka, Nissanka, Nissanka, Nissan

“People were not allowed to sell tickets in towns or in crowded places because of the curfew that was imposed in recent days,” said Sujeewa Nissanka, NLB’s Deputy General Manager, Marketing and Promotions. “We contribute to the consolidated fund with Mahajana Sampatha, and the proceeds from other tickets go to the kidney fund, the agriculture ministry, and so on. We have nine lotteries and fund seven major areas. We typically contribute 10-16 percent of the proceeds from lottery sales. It is 16.5 percent in some lotteries. 1.2 million Mahajana Sampatha tickets and one million Govisetha tickets were sold in a single day. We are open every day of the month and donate the proceeds from these lotteries to the country’s development, to be used in these critical areas.”

He went on to say, “Mahajana Sampatha is a ticket with its own uniqueness.” “Because it has been there for a long time, we don’t have to make many changes to it.” It also comes with a reasonable price tag. You have a chance of winning at least Rs. 100 if you buy ten tickets. Govisetha is an important lottery because our farmers rely on the money raised to buy fertilizer and other resources that enable them to continue farming.”

When asked why sales are down, he refused to acknowledge it, instead demonstrating how over 200,000 people won a lottery on a single day. “It appears that these numbers are rising. People’s money is not kept by us. A small amount of money is set aside to run our business and pay our employees’ salaries. The remaining funds will be distributed to the general public. The pricing structure is determined by a separate division and is audited by both the Internal Audit Department and Government Audit.”

NLB is optimistic about the future of digitisation and the sale of more tickets through electronic channels. “We still use physical lotteries, so we’ll have to switch to e-lotteries.” SMS lotteries are now available, and they are gaining popularity. We now sell between 20,000 and 30,000 lottery tickets via SMS. In the future, we hope to make things easier for our customers,” he added.”

Every day, we print the exact same amount of tickets: Jayaratne is a Sri Lankan cricket player.


‘‘The DLB generates income for the President’s Fund and then the Mahapola Higher Education Trust Fund, in accordance with our mandate.”

Anura Jayaratne (Anura Jayaratne) is a Sri Lankan politician.





DLB General Manager Anura Jayaratne stated, “We adhere to universal standards during draws.” “Some draws call for 80 balls, while others call for more. In order to determine the pricing structure, we use a mathematical formula. The DLB is responsible for generating revenue for the President’s Fund and then the Mahapola Higher Education Trust Fund, as per our mandate. Today’s chances of winning are slimmer than they were in 1994. Before major brands such as Mahajana Sampatha and Govisetha were introduced, there were scratch tickets available. As a result, there is cannibalism. The assertions that we print fewer tickets are completely false. “Every day, we print the same amount of tickets.”

People like K. Jinadasa, a differently-abled lottery seller from Matara who walks 2.5 kilometers every day to sell his tickets, are the ones who suffer as a result of the main players allegedly manipulating the system. He saves his daily earnings of Rs. 250-Rs.300 instead of taking the bus to feed and clothe his family.

J’pura University student tests positive for COVID-19

A management student at the University of Sri Jayawardenapura tested positive for COVID-19. According to the University’s Student Union, a student living in Panadura was placed in a dormitory and last visited the University on October 4.

A PCR test conducted yesterday confirmed that the student had contracted the coronavirus. Individuals who communicated with students in the Dorm, as well as those who had contact with her at the University, will be subjected to PCR testing tomorrow (October 11).

According to the Vice-rector of the University, students were informed not to vacate the premises of the hostel. It was said that meals for students will be provided by the University dormitory.

Meanwhile, the University’s management issued the following statement

A third-year student of the faculty of decision Sciences (DSC) of the faculty of management and Commerce has tested positive for COVID-19. The University took measures to conduct PCR tests on the student and admitted her to IDN. Reports on PCR tests of the student’s mother, who is reported to be a nurse at Panadura base hospital, have not yet been received by the University.

We don’t know how the student contracted COVID-19. The investigation is ongoing. There were two other students with a DSC student in the same boarding school and one student (3rd year) from the same Department. One of the pupils of the boarding house is from the Gampaha district. We are waiting for the results of their PCR tests. The Ministry of Health has been informed about this.

The University placed students in the same boarding house, and students who remained in the dormitory of the faculty of management and Commerce were quarantined.

The University switched course work to online mode from October 06, 2020, and students are not recommended to enter the University without having to, since most of the work is done through the LMS. External and post-graduate courses that take place on weekends have also switched to online mode.

While many students have left University dormitories since October 06, 2020, the University currently accommodates about 200 students who have remained in University dormitories. Several management and Commerce students who remained at the University were quarantined in dormitories in accordance with the COVID-19 quarantine guidelines issued by the Ministry of health.

Further decisions regarding a registered positive case of the disease at the University will be made after receiving the protocols of PCR tests of the student’s mother and students of the specified boarding house.

Sri Jayawardenepura University strictly follows the COVID-19 guidelines issued by the Ministry of health and will continue to do so to ensure the safety of its students and staff.

NLB on track to make lottery history

With sales of more than 3,500 tickets every minute, growing business volumes, and an extensive network, NLB is soaring to new heights.

The national lottery Board (NLB) – led by a Board of Directors led by its Chairman, Shyamila Perera – is hoping for record results. NLB expects annual revenue of RS 21 billion this year, and if they succeed, they will be the highest in Sri Lanka’s lottery history.
Ms. Perera said that if all goes well, they expect to reach that goal by December. She noted that getting there will require constant trading activity. “Our operation is 24×7, with more than 3,500 tickets sold every minute and four lotteries drawn every day,” she said. This figure for the whole of 2017 was 16.7 billion rupees, and a year earlier-20.1 billion rupees.

With nine lotteries and high prize structures in its portfolio, NLB is committed to increasing business volumes. And in the process, they produce many multi-millionaires. In fact, they have produced 160 multi-millionaires in the past four years .

The recently launched Dhana Nidhanaya offers Sri Lanka’s largest starting super prize – 80 million rupees. Mega Power has seen its starting super prize of 50 million rupees soar to more than 150 million rupees today. And Goviset’s super prize, which started at 60 million rupees, is now worth more than 100 million rupees. In fact, NLB produced a record 13 multi-millionaires in the first five months of this year. Over the same period, there were a total of more than 70 million winners, and they won more than 3.8 billion cash prizes.

According to Ms. Perera, there are an average of more than 550,000 winners each day; collectively, they win more than 25 million rupees. Earning income by network load balancing per day is about RS. 600 million on average.

NLB is one of the highest sources of revenue to the state Treasury. In fact, in the first five months of this year alone, they contributed more than 960 million rupees to the government. And in the four years from 2014 to 2017, they contributed 8.4 billion rupees to the government.

NLB has seen impressive growth since the new administration came to power in early 2015 and Ms. Perera became its Chairman. In 2015, NLB recorded a profit of RS 241 million. Recovery from a loss of RS 8 million in the previous year. In the three years since, they have made a profit of almost RS 414 million. Revenue, which was 17.1 billion rupees in 2015, reached 20.1 billion rupees in 2016 and is expected to exceed 20 billion rupees this year.

“We are a state-owned business organization charged with generating funds for the government, ” says Ms. Perera. – our intention is to be an exemplary business organization in the public sector.”
She believes that nlbs can achieve even greater success if they are not hindered by the various government procedures and regulations that state-owned enterprises are subject to. She says the need to comply with administrative circulars and other forms of bureaucracy limits efficiency.

“We understand and believe in the need for transparency, checks and balances and all that, but these rules can be time-consuming and quite suffocating,” MS Perera said. It notes, for example, that they require the approval of designated bodies for recruitment, which leads to unnecessary delays. “These things prevent us from being the strong, dynamic organization we would like to be,” she adds.

She hopes the government will change such restrictions that limit their ability to function as a business-oriented organization. “We need more flexibility, for example, to restructure the workforce to improve productivity,” she says.

Ms. Perera has made representations to higher authorities, including the responsible Minister, and hopes that the situation will change. She is confident that this will allow NLB to reach its true potential. Even at present, NLB, with only 400 employees, contributes much more to government revenue than most other state-owned enterprises, which have a workforce many times larger and belong to category A, but depend on the Treasury. .

NLB can build on its long-standing legacy and experience to achieve even more. In fact, they have a groundbreaking lottery brand – Mahajana Sampatha, which was launched in 1970. In 2016, NLB underwent a significant transformation with a new corporate identity and logo. Today, with a market share of 55-60% of the total number of tickets sold, it is the largest lottery organization in Sri Lanka.

NLB currently has 400 employees and an extensive network of 12,500 ticket sellers, 2,800 agents, and 108 district dealers covering all regions. It has expanded its presence in the North and East. Currently, these areas account for 2-3% of NLB’s revenue, and higher growth is expected in the future. In fact, the Jaffna area has consistently exceeded its sales targets.

NLB also deals with corporate social responsibility issues. Through their special CSR brand Neeroga, they have contributed RS 137 million to the national kidney Fund since July 2015. With a CSR budget of almost RS 100 million per year, they also participate in various sponsorship programs and other initiatives, such as the construction of water treatment facilities.

As part of a new digital transition initiative, NLB recently introduced an SMS-based system that has so far attracted more than 20,000 active users. MS Perera said they were currently discussing proposals from app developers and other digital solution providers to implement web and smartphone-based systems. However, she said they should take into account the concerns of their shareholders about the sale chain, who fear their livelihoods will be affected. “I think it’s best to involve them directly in such initiatives by offering them incentives and convenient apps for doing business,”she added.