Here in Taiwan, when you buy something, anything, the receipt has a lottery number on it. It's part of the Taiwanese governments attempt to get companies to keep better records. Every two months the lottery numbers are drawn and everyone sifts through their literally HUNDREDS of receipts. The winnings vary depending on the amount of numbers that match. When speaking to locals, they tell us that it's apparently very difficult to win very much from the lottery; but Dan was confident that we'd win. So we saved every receipt and it paid off!!!
There are two sets of numbers drawn each time; the regular lottery, where you match the last three or more digits, and the grand prize lottery, where you must get all numbers correct. This website explains all about it and even posts the winning numbers each time. We ended up with three winning tickets. Two tickets were worth $200NT (having three matching numbers) and one worth $1000NT (which had four matching numbers).
In order to claim your prize you have to bring your winning receipts to the post office, or a participating bank. There you have to fill out some information about yourself (you must have a valid visa in order to claim a prize). If your winnings are over $1000NT you have to pay a small tax...our tax was only $4NT for out $1400NT winnings.
We decided to use our winnings to join the recently opened Costco. We've been a few times with friends and co-workers, but decided that the convenience of having our own membership was totally worth it.
Bring on the cheese, crackers, orange juice and chocolate!!! As well as many other indulgences I'm sure we'll enjoy over the course of the year!
For those of you living in Taiwan, keep saving those receipts (or send them our way!)...you never know when you might be a winner.