Ask Thai people whether they have ever bought a lottery ticket, and you’ll find most will say yes. In fact, it’s quite hard to find a Thai who’s never bought a lottery ticket.
That may not seem a particularly remarkable fact. But ask Thais how they decide which numbers to buy and things can get distinctly bizarre. The fact is, there are virtually no lengths Thais will not go to in order to get that winning combination of numbers.
Gamblers the world over pray to their gods for success and inspiration, or simply to be given one last chance to hit the big time. But few – in the West anyway – will head for the church to ask their local vicar for lottery numbers.
- Phuket FantaSea Cultural Theme Park
- Phi Phi Islands Tour with Express Boat
- James Bond Island Full-Day Tour via Big Boat
- Coral & Racha Islands Full-Day Tour
- Whitewater Rafting & 4-Wheel-Drive Adventure
- Sea Kayaking at Ang Thong Marine Park
- Flying Hanuman Ziplining Experience
- Canoeing Excursion in Phang Nga Bay with Thai Buffet Lunch
- Introduction to City Tour
- John Gray's Cave Canoeing Tour in Phang Nga Bay
In Thailand, however, a visit to the temple or a shrine to pray for the right numbers is commonplace, and some monks have a reputation for being able to divine which digits will do the trick. Other Thais visit fortune tellers for lottery advice.
When a respected Buddhist monk dies, many people will go to the monk’s temple to pay their respects but also in the hope of getting lottery hints – maybe the date of the monk’s birth or death or, if he was hospitalised before his death, the number of his hospital room. Other sources of numbers are car registration plates, addresses or telephone numbers.
Odder yet, there are certain holy trees which, if one rubs the bark the right way will, so believers say, reveal winning numbers.
But the most bizarre source of all is weird animals or plants. Say someone discovers a giant fungus growing in his outdoor toilet, or has a pig or cow that gives birth to malformed offspring – a calf with two heads, perhaps – he can be guaranteed a profitable window of opportunity as hundreds of people descend on his home to put talcum powder on the animal’s body and rub the fur gently in the search for winning digits. If forbidden to touch this marvel of nature, the punters will simply stare at it until they can divine the numbers.
Phuket.com talked to some islanders to see just how effective all this weirdness is.
The Dead Bird
On a boring Monday afternoon, Jai Maneesai, a company receptionist, heard a thump at the front door of the office. Checking what had caused the noise, she found a dead bird on the ground just outside. “It came from nowhere and hit the glass door hard – I could tell from the mark it left on the glass,” Khun Jai says.
This was an opportunity too good to pass up. She wasted no time. She went straight out and bought a lottery ticket using the company’s address for the key numbers. After all, she says, “How often do you get a stupid bird flying into a door like that? It was the first time I’d seen it happen, anyway.” She won a couple of thousand baht.
The Motorbike Accident
Using a motorbike in Phuket can be a challenge. Suthep Tohmon knows this only too well, from riding to and from work every day.
“I was waiting to make a right turn, when a pick-up truck came from nowhere and hit me,” he explains. “Luckily, I wasn’t hurt but the bike was a wreck.”
He was upset but thought that he might be able to retrieve something positive from the experience. He bought a lottery ticket using the registration number of the truck. He won.
Omm Money Plenty Come
“I believe that if you concentrate hard enough, you’ll see special things, like I once did in my meditation,” says Manaswee Seh-low, who has been meditating regularly for many years – for peace of mind, not for any kind of gain.
One day, however, three numbers leaped into her mind, as clear as day. She thought nothing of it, but learned later that the digits were the last three in that week’s winning lottery number.
“They came into my mind quite unexpectedly; I wasn’t looking for them,” Khun Manaswee says. But ever since then, whenever she meditates or goes to bed, she always keeps paper and pen handy. “I keep them right next to me in case the numbers come to me again.” As any Boy Scout will tell you, “Be prepared.”