According to Chapter 23 of the Criminal Code of Japan, gambling is generally a banned activity, with a few exceptions for certain motorsports and horse racing. Illegal casinos, mahjong parlors, and mobile gambling sites have caused several gamblers and owners quite the headache with the local governments.
Interestingly, there are also a few special laws that allow gambling in terms of football pools, public sports, and the oh-so-famous lottery. Through these regulations, members of the Japanese community and tourists are free to satisfy their gambling needs, while the Japanese governments, both national and local, benefit by having another form of income.
For tourists who want to get a taste of gambling in Japan, participating in the lottery is highly recommended, as it is the easiest to learn and follow.
Lottery in Japan – Brief History, Minimum Age, and Tax on Prize
Japanese lotteries are referred to as Takarakuji by the locals. These are held at the different prefecture of Japan, particularly in the large cities, and follow a regular schedule for the whole year.
According to records, the Japanese people have been playing the lottery as early as the 1600s but it was banned sometime during the 1840s.
The lottery was only reintroduced to the community during the year 1937 when the government urgently needed a source of funds for the war. The local officials passed a bill known as the Temporary Funds Adjustment Act of 1937 to be able to establish Japan’s first national lottery. Just a year after, this act was repealed, only to once again be applied in 1945 for the World War II.
In 1954, the lottery was put under the responsibility of the local governments before being passed to the Japan Lottery Association established in 1964. The same association has since been in charge of authorizing Japan’s lotteries and corresponding regulations.
As Japanese lotteries are meant to be a form of entertainment, the activity has no implemented age limit or tax on winnings. Unfortunately for foreign travelers, only bona fide residents of Japan can claim/collect lottery prizes.
Nationwide Lottery Systems in Japan (Takarakuji) by the Japan Lottery Association
The lotteries in Japan can be categorized into three main categories - scratch cards, selected numbers, and unique numbers. Lottery tickets are typically sold at authorized takarakuji booths but they can also be bought at select ATMs. The price of buying a lottery ticket starts at 100 yen and can go up to 500 yen.
Some of the most popular Japanese lotteries include:
Scratch cards, also referred to as instant lotto tickets, have been available in Japan since the year 1984. They can be bought at any lottery stand/booth across the country and come in different versions.
The most popular types that are sold for 200 yen each are the Scratch Lottery, Puzzles Scratch, Mrs. Happy Link, and Premium Scratch. There are also scratch cards available for 100 yen each such as the Lucky 3.
Playing this kind of lottery is pretty much done the same way as in other countries. Instructions on how to win are available on the card, for those unfamiliar with scratch cards.
Numbers 3 and Numbers 4
Numbers 3 and Numbers 4 serve as the standard daily number lottery games of Japan. A player must pick three or four numbers from 1 to 9, according to his preferred order. One bet costs 200 yen for both lottery types.
A person can win a prize through different ways including:
Getting all three or four numbers in the right order.
Getting all three or four number regardless of order.
Getting the first two numbers in the right order. (Numbers 3)
Getting the first two numbers regardless of order. (Numbers 3)
Getting the last two numbers in the right order. (Numbers 3)
Getting the first three numbers in the right order. (Numbers 4)
Getting the first three numbers regardless of order. (Numbers 4)
Prizes vary greatly for Numbers 3 and Numbers 4 but are usually higher than 12,000 yen.
Loto 6/Lotto 6
Loto 6/Lotto 6 refers to a kind of Japanese lotto that is drawn two times a week – once on Mondays and again on Thursdays. A lottery ticket costs 200 yen and features seven slots for the player to arrange six chosen numbers from 1 – 43, and another one to serves as a bonus number.
The jackpot, which sometimes reaches 1 billion yen, is won by getting all numbers and the bonus number correct. Lower prizes may also be won through the following combinations:
Getting 5 out of the 6 winning numbers and the bonus number correct.
Getting 5 out of the 6 winning numbers correct.
Getting 4 out of the 6 winning numbers correct.
Getting 3 out of the 6 winning numbers correct.
Lotto 7 is similar to Lot 6/Lotto 6 but requires the player to choose his numbers from 1 – 37, rather than 1 – 43. Furthermore, each lottery ticket features nine slots for the player to arrange his seven chosen numbers and two bonus numbers.
Prizes may be one through the following combinations/correct draws:
Getting all seven winning numbers correct.
Getting 6 out of the 7 winning numbers and 1 out of the 2 bonus numbers correct.
Getting 6 out of the 7 winning numbers correct.
Getting 5 out of the 7 winning numbers correct.
Getting 4 out of the 7 winning numbers correct.
Getting 3 out of the 7 winning numbers and 1 out of the 2 bonus numbers correct.
Mini Lotto was created during the year 1999 as a weekly lottery game that is drawn every Tuesday of the week. Each Mini Lotto ticket features six slots for a player to arrange five chosen numbers from 1 to 31 and another one to serves as a bonus number.
Getting all numbers in the right order wins the jackpot, which is typically within the range of six to fourteen million yen. Players may only win lower prizes (50,000 – 150,000 yen) if they get 4 out of the 5 winning numbers and the bonus number right; without the bonus number, the prize usually falls between 5,000 – 10,000 yen.
The Jumbo Lottery refers to four lotteries that follow the same rules on winning but are held at different times of the year, usually during the months of March, June, August, and December.
Each lottery ticket costs about 300 yen and features seven slots for the player to arrange six chosen numbers from 1-9, followed by another chosen number from 1-68. As with other Japanese lotteries, the jackpot is one by getting all numbers correct and in the right order, while smaller prizes may be one through other combinations.
Nenmatsu Jumbo Takarakuji (Year-End Jumbo Lottery)
The Nenmatsu Jumbo Takarakuji, or better known as the Year-End Jumbo Lottery, serves as the largest lottery game in Japan and the rest of Asia. Its rules are similar to the Jumbo Lottery discussed above but is only drawn once throughout the year, particularly on the eve of New Year’s Day.
Tips on Increasing the Chances of Winning the Lottery in Japan
Winning lotteries, or any other form of gambling, basically depend on one’s luck. However, many enthusiasts believe that there are patterns when it comes to these activities and have a handful of tips for players interested in increasing their chances of winning at Lotto 6:
Choosing Odd and Even Numbers
When choosing a set of numbers, a player must remember to create a mix of odd and even numbers. Winning number groups that consist of purely odd or even numbers rarely happen and only make up less than 1% of all lottery draws.
For Lotto 6, the recommended ratios of odd-even numbers are 2:4, 4:2, and 3:3.
Choosing High and Low Numbers
Similarly, number groups should be created with the concept of keeping a good ratio of the high and low numbers. It is also pretty rare for a winning set to just consist of numbers from 1-21 or 22-43. As such, the same principle of maintaining a 2:4, 4:2, and 3:3 ratio should be applied for choosing low and high numbers.
Study Previous Lottery Winning Number Groups
As previously mentioned, it is believed that lottery draws have a pattern to them. According to experts, this pattern can be seen by studying the previous lottery draws and looking at the number groups (0 – 9, 10 – 19, 20 – 29, etc.) that are consistently drawn.
Keeping track of these things may help in wisely deciding which numbers to aim for when making a huge bet.
Study Previous Lottery Repeated Winning Numbers
Studying previous lottery draws can also help determine which numbers may repeat in the next draw. Statistics show that one lottery number from a winning draw is always present in the following draw more than fifty percent of the time.
Look at the Sum of the Chosen Numbers
Once six numbers have been chosen, it is recommended that a player add up all his numbers and look at the sum. According to records, sums that fall in the range of 115 – 185 make up seventy percent of all lottery draws that have occurred in Japan.
Avoid Using Previous Winning Number Combinations
Making use of previous winning number combinations may be tempting but is one of the surest ways to not win the lottery. Probabilities show that a particular combination can only be drawn once every fifty-seven thousand years or so.
Avoid Choosing Numbers of the Same Number Group
Just as using previously drawn number combinations is a bad idea, filling one’s lottery ticket with numbers all from the same number group is not advised. Drawing a winning set all from the group of 10s, 20s, 30s, etc. is highly unlikely and has not even happened before.
Avoid Using Pattern Betting on Lottery Tickets
Pattern betting refers to using the arrangement of the numbers of the lottery ticket as a basis for choosing one’s numbers. This includes going for the numbers that make a straight line, diagonal line, or any other shape on the lottery ticket.
Although there is a chance of winning, there is a higher chance of many other members of the community having the same set of numbers, which basically makes the prize insignificant.
Avoid Using Number Multiples
Another popular pattern that is not recommended but many players like to use is the number multiples. This refers to combinations such as 4 – 8 – 12 – 16 – 20 – 24, 6 – 12 – 18 – 24 – 30 – 36, or 7 – 14 – 21 – 28 – 35 – 42.
Avoid Choosing Numbers with the Same Last Digits
Numbers that end in the same digits may be amusing to look at but rarely gets chosen at the lottery draw. In fact, records show that such combinations only make up 3% of the total draws made in Japan.
Avoid Creating Combinations Consisting of Consecutive Numbers
One of the most popular lotto combinations played by many is 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6. Thousands of lottery tickets with this combination come up every draw but has never been drawn as the winning set, given its widely out of balance proportions and low probability.
Stay Positive when Buying a Lottery Ticket
Finally, experts and avid fans of the Japanese lotteries believe that nothing beats a positive outlook. When purchasing a lottery ticket, a good energy must be kept in order to attract an equally pleasant response or outcome.
Approaching the activity with the fear of losing will not do any good and basically just ruins the entertaining game by causing stress on oneself.
Japan Lottery Winning Ticket Number Results – Lotto 6 and Lotto 7
Out of all Japanese lottery games, the most popular ones to date are Lotto 6 and Lotto 7. The results for the first week of October are as follows:
October 5, 2017 Result (Draw 1215)
Winning Combination: 3 – 6 – 9 – 15 – 21 – 42 + 7
Jackpot Prize: 212,735,000 yen (2 Winners)
Division 2 Prize: 63,822,500 yen (5 Winners)
Division 3 Prize: 68,907,000 yen (446 Winners)
Division 4 Prize: 72,726,000 yen (15,810 Winners)
Division 5 Prize: 210,838,000 yen (210,838 Winners)
October 2, 2017 Result (Draw 1214)
Winning Combination: 2 – 19 – 23 – 30 – 33 – 36 + 40
Jackpot Prize: 243,176,400 yen (4 Winners)
Division 2 Prize: 72,955,400 yen (2 Winners)
Division 3 Prize: 78,778,000 yen (170 Winners)
Division 4 Prize: 82,939,100 yen (9,319 Winners)
Division 5 Prize: 163,858,000 yen (163,858 Winners)
October 6, 2017 Result (Draw 223)
Winning Combination: 3 – 13 – 17 – 25 – 26 – 27 - 29 + 8 – 37
Jackpot Prize: No Winner
Division 2 Prize: 85,803,200 yen (8 Winners)
Division 3 Prize: 120,118,600 yen (103 Winners)
Division 4 Prize: 70,330,400 yen (5,288 Winners)
Division 5 Prize: 171,433,200 yen (90,228 Winners)
Division 6 Prize: 144,526,500 yen (160,585 Winners)