Chinese man-bear wins $81M lottery

Global Business

Someone just won the China’s third biggest lottery prize ever awarded. While some would have pulled out all the stops to celebrate, this winner is keeping it low-key and he’s choosing to remain anonymous, as a bear. CCTV America’s Hu Chao reports.

At the Shanxi provincial lottery center on Monday morning, the lottery winner addressed the media dressed in a bear costume from head to toe. After winning a lottery prize of over half a billion yuan or $81.6 million, this lucky man has become the envy of the city, and even the whole country.

“I feel really excited. I think I will give part of the prize money to charity. I still don’t have a specific plan now. I’ve been buying lottery tickets for so many years, since the city started to sell them,” the winner says.

According to laws, the winner will have to pay a 20 percent tax on his prize money.

Following his win, business at the shop where he bought his ticket is booming. Many have come to buy lottery tickets there, believing it’s a lucky place. The lottery shop is, in fact, lucky. It gets 50,000 yuan or $8,161 as a reward from the local welfare lottery center. And the owner says his business has doubled since the big prize was announced.

However, some netizens are questioning the integrity of the lottery industry since no details of the winner and the money’s use are revealed. As some of the proceeds from the lottery are supposed to go to charities, they believe the public has a right to know. But local lottery officials insist that the privacy of the winner be protected for safety concerns.

So far, the winner has donated 12 million yuan or $1.95 million to the provincial charity federation, among which 2 million yuan or 326,000 will go to the quake-stricken areas in Yunnan Province.