Uniform Invoice lottery
The Uniform Invoice or Unified Invoice, better known as the Taiwan receipt lottery (traditional Chinese: 統一發票; simplified Chinese: 统一发票; pinyin: Tǒngyī fāpiào), is a form of state lottery managed by the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of China.
The lottery was conceptualized by the first Kuomintang (KMT) finance chief, Jen Hsien-qun (traditional Chinese: 任顯群; simplified Chinese: 任显群; pinyin: Rèn xiǎnqún), to boost tax revenues in the early days of the KMT government. The introduction of this lottery on January 1, 1951 encouraged locals to obtain receipts for every purchase made with businesses with a monthly turnover of NT$200,000 (US$6,200) and above. As a result, the Finance Ministry collected NT$51 million (US$1.6 million) that year, representing a 75% increase from the NT$29 million (US$900,000) collected in 1950.
The lottery drawing in Taiwan falls on the 25th of every odd-numbered month, i.e., January, March, May, July, September and November. Six sets of eight-digit numbers are drawn and announced in a 'live' televised ceremony presented by an emcee, during which four models roll out the winning numbers from hand-turned lottery machines. Six prizes are announced during the ceremony. As of 2011, the “Special Prize” has been increased from NT$2 million (US$63,000) to NT$10 million (US$342,000). “First Prize” of NT$200,000 (USD $6,200) are offered to customers with the receipts matching the 8-digit numbers drawn. Subsequent prizes valued at NT$40,000 (US$1,300), NT$10,000 (US$313), NT$4,000 (US$136), NT$1,000 (US$31) and NT$200 (US$7) are available to receipt holders who match the final 7, 6, 5, 4 and 3 digits, respectively, on their invoices. In keeping with Taiwan's "convenience store culture", some major convenience store chains will redeem receipts for the smallest (NT$200) prize by allowing customers to buy that amount of products with a winning receipt; larger prizes must be redeemed at a government tax ministry office.
In conjunction to the 60th anniversary of the invoice lottery, the Finance Ministry announced a 33% increase in the total prize value to NT$7 billion (US$20 million) in 2011.
The Ministry started an e-invoice initiative in 2006 with the intention of facilitating e-commerce and reducing the number of receipts that need to be physically printed (currently about 11.5 billion every year). Lee Sush-der of the Ministry of Finance indicated that if 8 billion paper receipts could be replaced with e-invoices, 80,000 trees could be saved. The intermediate goal is to reduce the invoice process cost by NT$7.4 billion by 2013, with an expected total savings of NT$120 billion once comprehensive e-invoicing becomes the norm. E-receipts set for trial run.
- Lee, Seok Hwai (6 August 2010). "Odds of a jackpot hit just got better". Straits Times. p. B1.
- "Unlucky bemoan single digit in invoice lottery" Taipei Times. Published 3 February 2012
- "Uniform Invoice Award Regulations". Taxation Administration, Ministry of Finance, R.O.C. 2013-05-22. Retrieved 2013-05-22.
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