Yay! I have won the 發票 lottery! I’m now 兩百台幣 better off (about four quid or one bus ride in the UK)!

。。。In Taiwan, each receipt from your daily shopping is entered in to a state run bimonthly draw. At the end of each odd month, e.g. November, receipt numbers are drawn from the previous two months, e.g. September and October. The top prize is 一千萬元 (~£200k Sterling), with increasing numbers of prizes down to the 200 NT$ I won. Pretty good considering receipts are “free”, and the probability of a particular receipt winning is unrelated to the value of the purchase that the receipt pertains to. The receipt lottery ensures customers request and retain their receipts and similarly vendors can’t avoid tax liabilities.

…So you could go on a rampage of 1 NT$ purchases, gather many receipts, and have a good chance of winning. However, a bit of “back of an envelope” maths shows it’s really not worth it unless your one dollar purchases are actually worth that one dollar to you!

For comparison with the UK:

Name Cost of entry Smallest prize Approximate chance of a prize
Taiwan 統一發票 Free with most shopping purchases 200NT$ (~£4) 1:16600
(Per receipt)
UK "Lotto" £2 £25 1:54
UK Premium bonds Free / investment depreciation, £100 minimum deposit £25 1:26000
(Monthly, per pound invested)
My winning receipt, 臺灣永和, 2013年11月