A Buddhist temple is decorated with thousands of losing lottery tickets to warn followers against gambling. Devout monk Thanaroj Panyawashiro has collected tens of thousands of discarded paper tickets after asking visitors to stick them on the walls of Wat Nong Thong temple in Sukhothai province. The unusual temple hall was now been completely covered with lottery tickets from top to bottom while serpent sculptures – one with folded tickets as scales while the other was painted in gold – decorate the building. The monk said a relative who had been a gambling addict but never won gave his tickets to the temple to ‘change his ways’. He said: ‘I had a relative who had been a gambling addict but never once won. Gambling is not for everyone and he realised that so he gave us his losing tickets. ‘There were so many tickets that we were able to cover the whole wall and also the statue. We folded the papers to make scales for one of the serpents. ‘We thought this could be a good reminder for temple visitors not to be greedy and that chances of winning the lottery are slim. ‘Now other people have also started donating their tickets and realising that gambling is not such a good idea.’ Monk Thanaroj added that it is better to save money and be ready when you need it than try their luck in gambling during the pandemic. The abbot said: ‘It is better to save money and be ready than to buy lottery tickets when Covid-19 is messing up the economy.’ The Thai lottery is played twice a month by an estimated 21 million people and prizes range from 2,000 baht (60 USD) to 6,000,000 baht (182,500 USD). It is one of the few forms of legal gambling in Thailand with government ministers enforcing strict laws against casinos, football betting websites and illegal ‘underground’ lotteries due to what they claim is the ‘highly addictive’ and ‘corrupting’ forces behind gambling.
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