The Thai National Lottery – Balls to Trees and Dreams

Lottery TreeThai National Lottery – Rub That Tree

We were at Kamchanod, near Ban Dung, in Udon Thani Province. We were approaching Kamchanod’s Nāga temple when Wonderful Wi suddenly stopped and started stroking a sacred wishing tree.

In Thailand, just like anywhere else in the world, everyone wants the next winning lottery lucky numbers that will make them rich. And Thais will even stroke trees to get them.

My interest in writing a lottery post started when I read an article on My Thai Friend titled Thai Lottery Predictions – The Gecko Speaks, which tells of blog author Mike’s strange way of forecasting the winning Lottery numbers. Mike counts the consecutive calls that his house gecko makes to produce digits for the different Thai lottery draws. A strange method, but what about the tree?

I asked Wilai why she had rubbed the tree, and she told me, without any hint of bashfulness, it was to bring her luck on the next lottery draw. Apparently, by rubbing the bark of the tree, lucky numbers will appear before you. Most people apply white powder to the bark beforehand to make the numbers more clearly seen. Very odd.

Lottery fever grips the Thai nation in the days before every draw and none more so than in the rural parts of Thailand. It’s every villager’s dream to strike it lucky, and they use many ways to try to capture the jackpot prize.

Dream, Dream, Dream

Lottery ticketsDreams are a big winner when it comes to lottery numbers, and why not, everybody has dreams, but it’s more about how you interpret them. Dreaming about a deceased relative could hold the winning two-digit number if applied to their age when they passed away. If those dreams only realize financial nightmares, then there’s plenty of other ways to succeed.

Many people visit temples and pray for good luck and lottery tips, or seek advice from monks, or the lucky monk who gave the winning numbers for the previous draw.

Birthdays, house numbers, car registrations and mobile phone numbers are just some of the methods used to try to match those winning balls and win the first prize of two million baht ( US$55,000). The 120 baht commission paid ticket equates to an astonishing four-fifths of the Thai minimum daily wage, yet Thais continue to fill the National Lottery coffers in the twice-monthly draw.

If all else fails then there are many Thai lottery magazines on sale offering tips and hints, and of course, the winning picks for the next draw. For me, the gecko seems as good a way as any, especially after my rubbing of the wishing tree bore nothing at all. Wilai had a luckless lottery, and my numbers were in it but never going to win it, so maybe we were barking up the wrong tree.

Have you got a mad lottery method that works for you or is it going to be lights out, TV off, and listen out for the gecko. Good luck on the next draw.


I'm a sixty-year-old Englishman living in the town of Swindon in rural Wiltshire and I have a real deep desire to retire in Thailand one day. If you don't have a dream then you won't have a dream come true.

13 Responses

  1. Mike says:

    HD I love it. Now since the gecko seems to have a sore throat at the moment, perhaps I should try to get MTF to hug a tree locally!!

    I actually find the whole “luck” thing a fascinating subject here in Thailand.

    Something that is less obvious in the UK although my old MUM swears by her luck penny (1d) that she carried through WWII.

    Mike’s last blog post..Thai Marriage

  2. Malcolm says:

    Martyn, good post and one after Ciejay’s own heart , she is a avid lotto player and her and her sisters have many ways to pick the nunbers for the next drawing , but that method is a secret known only to themb but I always wish them lucky, lucky , and that makes them smile . I’ve tried Mikes gecko and it hasn’t produced a winner for me yet , but I like most Thais will be buying my ticket for the next chance at any winnings,large or small. Malcolm

  3. Catherine says:

    I had a feeling that the Thai lottery was fraught with dark mystery, but I never dreamed the the hugging of trees would be involved.

    ‘Have you got a mad lottery method that works for you or is it going to be lights out, TV off and listen out for the gecko.’

    I only play the lotto in the UK. And yes, I have my secret numbers.

    When I land in the UK, I go straight to Sainsburys and buy for Sat night and Wednesday too.

    Then, when I’m at my friends house in Wellington on Saturday night (I’m usually there on a Saturday night), after an evening of fun, we all hang around the computer to see if I’ve won.

    This communal act is always accompanied by much laughter…

    And I always dream of brandishing my winning ticket while saying, ‘HAH!’

    Catherine’s last blog post..FREE: Quick & Dirty Thai Vocabulary Download

  4. As a tree-hugger myself I can’t mock. I have a very personal relationship going with a rare pine I rescued as a tiny sapling in a forest where it didn’t have a chance of surviving, replanted it in an open space, and it’s now many metres tall. I have a chat with it regularly 😉

    On this subject of superstition and spouses – I wonder how tolerant we would have been with farang partners in former lives, of all this kind of thing? It’s strange really, for some reason it doesn’t bother me hardly at all over in Thailand, yet I have a nagging feeling that it is something I wouldn’t find as easy to live with in a Western relationship. Don’t think there’s any thing patronising about it in the Thai/farang relationship, but can’t put my finger on it. Might just be me, of course…

    With all due respect to Mike and his gecko…

    Pete, frogblogger’s last blog post..Expat bloggers in Thailand, social responsibility

  5. expatudon08 says:

    i see you made it out there to Kham Chanot its only 10 km our so from are family home in ban dong yen the temple
    and local area is visited buy the royal princes on a regular basis i wonder if she rubs that tree as well maybe not
    did you stop back in ban dung at eddies for a beer
    i have a little blog on ban dung
    regards john aka expatudon08

    expatudon08’s last blog post..Changes to Ban Dung issan thailand

  6. Hoo Don says:

    Mike I swear on my life that at the end of May WW kept asking me “Hus….band, what numbers your friend dia…ry (blog), give for lottery.” I checked it out quite a few times but assumed the gecko had contracted H1N1 and been fed to a pig. I think that says it all as in the beliefs of the Thai people and the lottery. Wilai really believes the gecko has that magic call.

    Malcolm – Wilai is very much like Ciejay in that she chances her luck on the lottery twice a month. WW very rarely wins but her 500 baht twice monthly gamble somehow makes her realize that she has risen in the caste system of life. I respest Wi for her ground zero morals of life and love her very much but it’s great to see an ex poor kid dabble with the things that the western world do off pat and yet take the losing with a sweet mai phen rai.

    Catherine it’s always nice to see the prettiest of avatar’s grace the BTMJ site and a big warm welcome from at present a very sunny UK. I used to be a big gambler, hence you’re sat there and I’m working here. Nowadays I’m saving for my Thailand future and greyhounds and horses are coaches and fools but recently I’ve been having the occasional quid on the lottery. There’s an apple tree in my back garden and I really want to hug it but I’m kind of scared what the neighbours might think. I’m still trying to get my head round your sausage post. Sweet dreams.

    Pete – Your tree sapling scenario is in so many ways similar to the “decent and respectful” falang who makes that wonderful Thai ladies dream come true. With no intended reference to the Netherlands, Dutch Elm is unfortunately rife in Thailand. Thank you for your continued support of BTMJ with your well penned comments and I’d like to say that they are the absolute ********* Confused ? Okay try this. Your comments are the name of a very famous bar in Soi Yamato, Pattaya. name that bar.

  7. Hoo Don says:

    John a big hello from Swindon, nice to hear from you. I have visited your new site and I am very, very impressed and will swap over your link in my Blogroll just give me a few days to do so. I received your email and will visit facebook, it’s near the top of my must do list but since returning home I’ve been so, so busy (work).

    I’ve been to Kham Chanot four times now and will make it five next time, Wilai really likes it and I’m very interested in the ghost story about it. I visited Eddie’s bar and spoke to the man himself as well as Maurizio’s and Gary’s bars, very impressed and thanks for tipping me off about the Ban Dung bars. Best wishes.

  8. Malcolm says:

    Martyn, are you sure you can see ok I looked and my comment is here and with a comment reply from you , take a nap , get out in the fresh air, take cold shower and have another beer ha ha Malcolm

  9. Hoo Don says:

    Malcolm that was an old email that I sent you and for some reason when I sent an email today it fired off that one as well. I’ll ignore the nap as it’s my day off today and I’m off for a few beers. I will drop in on your site later and pass comment on your riverboat post. Have a good day cowboy.

  10. So far I’ve come up with Monkey Business, 007, Stringfellows, and Nervous Wreck in soi Yamato. I reckon you must mean Soi Buakhao, there’s the Crazy Bar there. That definitely fits 🙂

    Pete, frogblogger’s last blog post..Thaivisa: Founder of Thailand’s largest online community answers the critics

  11. Hoo Don says:

    Pete the answer is on the Thailand Expat Forum.

  12. Angela says:

    I dream of winning first prize lotto

  13. Lottery Numbers says:

    Thanks for a lovely site, I am very impressed. I had a feeling that the Thai lottery was Lottery Numbers fraught with dark mystery, but I never dreamed the the hugging of trees would be involved.

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