The lottery is usually televised but due to the delay, Sunday’s draw was conducted in secret, instantly raising suspicions amongst users on the Chinese social network Weibo. There have even been accusations that the winners of the 60 million yuan (£6.3 million) jackpot were employed by the lottery itself. Allegations levied at the lottery accuse it of fabricating winners due to unexpectedly poor sales figures.
The Welfare Lottery operators apologised officially through Weibo and at a press conference, but that has failed to stem the tide of criticism being directed at them for a lack of transparency. Head of the Lottery authority, Tang Qiwei, insisted that the problems were due to an unpreventable technical issue and that that the delay and subsequent private drawing were all conducted properly and in accordance with the rules.