China’s lottery sales surged past RMB 500 billion in 2018, thanks to a strong performance by the Sports Lottery in a World Cup year. Sales of the Sports Lottery rose by 37% in 2018, overtaking the Welfare Lottery for the first time in 15 years. 

But there is always temptation where money is concerned and in November 2018 there were rumours that some RMB 136 billion (around US$ 20 billion) had been embezzled by Welfare Lottery officials over a period of time. It was confirmed that 14 lottery officials were being investigated but there was no official confirmation of the amounts involved.