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75 pct of lottery jackpot transferred to Turkey’s Wealth Fund after New Year’s drawing

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Turkey’s Wealth Fund received the biggest share of the New Year’s lottery prize of TL 100 million ($12.7 million) as only one person in the country won a quarter of the lottery jackpot, the Birgün daily reported on Friday.

After a quarter-ticket winner emerged on Thursday evening, Turkey’s 2020 grand New Year’s lottery prize was reportedly divided into four.

The person with the ticket numbered 9884757 from Manisa province won a prize of TL 25 million ($3.3 million), while the remaining TL 75 million ($10 million), the total sum of the three other quarter tickets that weren’t sold, was reportedly transferred to the Turkish Wealth Fund.

Birgün said the incident came after the Turkish-Italian Sisal-Sans joint venture, which has had the operating rights to the Milli Piyango national lottery since August, previously announced that the lottery would continue until the jackpot was won by a person with a winning ticket.

“Here’s how it works. Sisal-Sans transfers the money it made from selling the tickets to the Wealth Fund. The fund gives back 9.5 percent of the amount after taxes. Thus, the more the house wins the lottery prize, the more money both Sisal-Sans and the fund make,” Deniz Yavuzyılmaz, a lawmaker from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), told Birgün.

CHP deputy Veli Ağbaba also commented, saying it was highly probable that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) decided who would win the quarter-ticket prize.

“There’s no longer any law in Turkey. We are facing a kind of governance that sells hope to its citizens and exploits the hope of the poor,” Ağbaba added.

The lottery is managed through the Turkey Wealth Fund state asset management company, which was established in 2016 as the national sovereign wealth fund to develop the value of Turkey’s strategic assets and provide investment resources, and is run by a self-appointed chairman, Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan, who stepped into the role in September 2018.

Erdoğan’s son-in-law and former finance minister Berat Albayrak stepped down from his vice chair position following his resignation from the government in November.

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