4-Digits (abbreviation: 4-D) is a lottery in Singapore and Malaysia. Individuals play by choosing any number from 0000 to 9999. Then, twenty-three winning numbers are drawn each time. If one of the numbers matches the one that the player has bought, a prize is won. A draw is conducted to select these winning numbers. 4-Digits is a fixed-odds game.
Magnum 4D is the 1st legalized 4D Operator licensed by the Malaysian Government to operate 4D. Soon thereafter, other lottery operators followed suit, as this is a very popular game in Malaysia and Singapore.
Singapore Pools is the sole provider of gambling games in Singapore. 4-D and lottery 6/45 are two of the most popular. A similar 4-D game with its prize structure fully revealed can be found in Taiwan.
A schoolboy decided to raffle his bicycle for 100 $1 tickets, each bearing two digits. The winner would be the one whose ticket number matched the last two digits of the first prize ticket in a Malaysian Turf Club sweepstake. This led to the 2-D lottery, which in turn gave rise to 3-D and later, 4-D, betting games which were wildly popular in Singapore and Malaysia from the 1950s.
The Singapore Turf Club was the first to introduce the 4-D draw in Singapore in May 1966, offering a S$2,000 first prize for a $1 ticket. It stopped offering it in May 2004 when its sister company Singapore Pools took over all the draws.
Singapore Pools launched computerised betting for 4-D on 31 May 1986, and it got off to an auspicious start when the winning number for the first prize in the inaugural draw turned out to be 8838. The number "8" sounds like fa (Chinese: 发) or "prosper" in Mandarin and is traditionally a favourite among punters. Punters welcomed the new 4-D product and the company's turnover that year increased 215%, to over S$283 million.
Methods of play
Ordinary entry refers to a specific number. Example: 1234. 4-D Roll substitutes any one of the four digits with 'R'. (i.e. R123, 1R23, 12R3 and 123R) where 'R' denotes all digits from 0 to 9. Only one digit can be substituted with 'R'. For example, if you mark R234, you are actually buying 10 Ordinary Entries (i.e. 0234, 1234, 2234, 3234... 9234). System entry is a bet on all the possible permutations of a 4-D number, for example the number 1234 has 24 permutations (1234, 2341, 3412, 4123…). iBet is a System Entry bet priced from $1, regardless of the number of permutations. Quick pick is bet on a random number selected by a computer.
An independent external auditor and five draw officials are involved in the draw process. Before the draw, a specially designed computer is run to randomly select the draw machine and the set of draw balls to be used. A backup machine is also chosen.
The selected draw balls, numbered 0 to 9, are weighed and check that their individual weight is within acceptable variance margin. This is to ensure that every ball has an equal chance of being drawn.
The selected machines, secured under lock and numbered seal in a storage room, is transferred to the draw hall, along with the balls.
The balls are loaded into the draw machine in front of the audience. A member of the audience is then invited to press the start switch on the control panel, launching the draw. The balls in the draw machine, made up of four transparent cylinders, spin until a ball is sucked into a groove found in each cylinder.
The drawing process, starting from the consolation prizes, is repeated until all 23 sets of winning numbers are drawn.
In Malaysia, there are three main 4D providers - Sports Toto, Magnum 4D and Da Ma Cai. Da Ma Cai is run by Pan Malaysian Pools Sdn. Bhd. which also organises racing bets. The other two are independent companies. These 4D operators are known as Number Forecast Operators.
Malaysia 4D draws on every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, which coincide with Singapore 4D draw. However, on fortnight basis, there will be a special draw on Tuesday.
Magnum 4D offers the classic 4D game - the player picks a 4 digit number and chooses the amount he wants to bet. There are "Big" and "Small" Forecasts. A "Small" bet will warrant higher winnings, but the player will only win if his number comes up in the first, second or third places. The winnings are lower for a "Big" bet, but in addition to the first, second and third places, there are 10 "Special" numbers which pay RM180 for a RM1 bet, and 10 "consolation" numbers which pay RM60 for a RM1 bet. Magnum is the first legalised 4D operator to be awarded the license by the Malaysian Government, and the favorite Magnum 4D number for the first prize is 7164 which will be out this end of year especially in every December.
Da Ma Cai (大马彩; literally "Pan-Malaysia Lottery" in Mandarin) has a 3D game as well as 4D (which they call 1+3D). Unlike the 1+3D, the 3D only has first, second, and third places. Prizes are significantly lower than 1+3D, the top prize being RM660 for Big First Place. Their 1+3D follows the same structure as the Magnum 4D.
Sports Toto, in addition to the basic 4D played the same way as Magnum and Da Ma Cai, runs 5D and 6D games as well. Unlike 4D, 5D and 6D do not have "Big" and "Small" Forecasts. First prize for 6D is RM100,000 and first prize for 5D is RM15,000. If the last 4, 3, or 2 digits of your 5D number (or the last 5, 4, 3, or 2 digits of your 6D number) match the first prize number, you still get a prize. Sports Toto also offers three lottery games, similar to those seen in Western countries. These are Mega Toto 6/52, Power Toto 6/55 & Supreme Toto 6/58. The last number indicates the highest number - Mega Toto 6/52 requires the player to pick 6 numbers from 1 to 52. The Supreme Toto 6/58 has the highest prizes (first prize is a minimum of more than RM8.8 million) but the probability of winning is lower than the others games as there are more numbers.
- Mak Mun San (July 8, 2007). "4-D a winner? You bet". The Sunday Times.