Sales of Lotto tickets in South Korea reached an all-time high in 2018 at 3.97 trillion won ($3.5 billion), up 4.4 percent from the previous year, the Korea Lottery Commission said.
But the growth rate was less than 6.5 percent in 2017 and 9.5 percent in 2016, due to a lack of new sales outlets.
The previous record was in 2003, when 3.82 trillion won worth of Lotto tickets were sold on a buying frenzy sparked by a winner who took home a record prize of 40.7 billion won in April of the same year.
Sales have since slowed down as the government restricted the carryover of prize money and halved the price of a ticket to 1,000 won.
Finance Ministry officials, meanwhile, said Lotto sales trends have little to do with economic conditions and are more heavily influenced by the number of sales outlets. (email@example.com)