Young people in China are buying up scratch lottery tickets


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Scratch cards, a type of instant lottery, have become a surprising hit among young people in China.

Key points:

The details:

  • In the past, scratch cards were seen as a game for older generations. Social media influencers are flooding platforms like Douyin and Xiaohongshu with scratch-off content, generating billions of views and fueling the trend.

  • The past three months saw scratch tickets worth around 38.9 billion yuan ($5.4 billion) sold in the country, marking an 81.4% year-on-year increase and outpacing other lottery types. At this rate, scratch-off sales could surpass 200 billion yuan ($27.62 billion) by year-end.

  • Analysts attribute the newfound popularity partly to economic anxieties among young people facing a challenging job market and deflation risk. While the chance of winning big is low, the instant gratification of scratching cards holds appeal among youth.

  • The overwhelming demand for scratch-offs has led to shortages in some areas, with retailers struggling to keep up with orders.

  • Observers also link the lottery craze to a growing “dropout culture” among Chinese youth, who are increasingly rejecting the traditional pressures of intense study and work.

  • While some project the scratch-off trend to persist, others expect the government to eventually intervene to regulate or curb it eventually.

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