Lotto in Bulgaria

There is a very good Bulgarian friend of ours who lives and works in Yambol. Her job is managing a lottery hut and I had an invite to check the place out.

These lottery huts are in the main prefabricated huts usually stand alone in spots in the town centre walkways or very near or in the centre of blocks (tower blocks.) Having passed these places many time I have only been inside one once with another Bulgarian friend who does the lottery weekly and has won once in five years and then it wasn't' much!

The purpose of the lottery games is to support sport in Bulgaria and many have the Bulgarian writing on the facade of the hut as 'Sport Lotto'

This is essentially the same as the UK with the options available for example 5, 6 or 7 numbers chosen from 1-35, 1-42 or 1-49. Of course the less probability of winning the bigger the cash prize.

It is a finely balanced though as to whether the lottery system here are good. As with the system elsewhere in Europe it is another 'tax on the poor' or in the UK we used to call it the 'idiot tax'. There is not a lot of business generated from what I see and from what our Bulgarian lottery manager tells us but then it is a National Lottery not local which is why it carries on.

Before I even entered the hut there was a bright green car half parked on the road half on the pavement and half blocked the entrance to the lottery hut. I was told that this was our lottery manger friend's car and thats where she parks every day. Well parking habits never die in Bulgaria so no surprise there.

It feels like I am going to enter a betting office and the sense of smoke and messy customers remains was expected but this was far from the case.

With the odds and options of betting scattered on the iron barred front window but as you enter the atmosphere changes directly you cross the threshold. There is a polished wooden cash desk with a window front and lovely scenic pictures all around. On a shelf where you fill out your lottery card there are pot plant feeling quite at home there. There are ashtray placed on the desk, again they had been cleaned out and shone in the sun that peers in from the front window. It has the feel of someones home and actually our friend treats it exactly that way. No litter of used lottery cards on the floor a spotlessly clean environment in which makes you feel very welcome.

All the time we were there, it must have been about an hour with all the talking we all did, not on customer appeared and it was around 5:00 in the afternoon on a bright sunny day - a time when people finish work and walk home.