Chinese sports lottery sales nearly doubled during World Cup

BEIJING, Aug. 26 (Xinhua) -- A rush by Chinese to gamble on the FIFA Brazil World Cup led to a doubling of lottery sales for two months in a row.

Sales data from July shows a jump of nearly 93 percent from a year ago to 19.8 billion yuan (3.2 billion U.S. dollars), after a year-on-year surge of 83 percent in June, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) said in a statement after the data was published Tuesday.

Outside of sporting bets, sales of welfare lottery tickets also rose 23.5 percent year on year to 17.4 billion yuan in July.

In total, China's lottery sales last month soared 52.7 percent year on year to 37.2 billion yuan, the data showed.

For the first seven months, China's lottery sales rose 23.9 percent year on year to 215.6 billion yuan.

Among Chinese provinces and cities, Tianjin led the upsurge in July, while Jiangsu, Shanghai, Zhejiang and Jiangxi also posted large increases, according to the MOF.