Playwin Infravest's online lottery launches today

Lottery may never be the same again from 6 pm today.

The Essel group promoted Super Lotto goes online at retail centres across the country from this evening, with Sikkim Lottery doing the honours initially. All 14 Indian states that legally allow the sale of lotteries have geared up to cash in on the growing online lottery business.

Playwin's Super Lotto comes with a jackpot of Rs 20 million. Prizes can be won from Rs 60 onwards after buying a ticket worth Rs 10 in all states except in Sikkim, where the ticket is priced at Rs 20. The country's first online "game of fortune" is being plugged aggressively with free ticket coupons for the first two days being supplied in ads in major newspapers.

Super Lotto claims complete transparency with computerisation at every stage. The inaugural draw will be held on 29 March at Gangtok and the results will be telecast live on Zee TV. The tickets can be bought at 300 departmental stores, grocery shops, ice-cream parlours, cyber cafes, apparel shops, restaurants, electronic goods stores, chemists and STD booths, each set up at a cost of Rs 300,000.

As per the license agreements between Playwin and the state governments, while the lotteries run on a virtual online network, they will also have a tangible presence in the form of actual tickets, which will have the number sequence of tickets bought by customers. Twenty-one per cent of the venture's profits go to the state, 50 per cent towards the prize monies and 7-8 per cent towards the retail and distribution network. Playwin's own share of the pie will be around 3-4 per cent of the sales, a part of which will be ploughed into a trust promoted by the Essel group.

While the paper lottery market in India currently stands at Rs 500,000 million, Playwin is investing around Rs 2000 million in developing the online gaming infrastructure in four states in the country in association with the state of the art technology provider, US based International Lottery Totalizer System (ILTS), which has installed such computerised wagering systems worldwide in 18 countries.

In addition to the state government audit, Ernst & Young too will audit and validate the online lottery process, say officials.

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