BEIJING — China, which has long dismissed gambling as capitalistic, this week began raising money for social welfare in a state-run lottery.
New China News Agency said $1,080,000 in lottery tickets were issued in Shanghai, one of 10 provinces and municipalities where the system is to be tested.
Earnings from the tickets will be used to help orphans, the handicapped and other needy people, the news agency said. But the agency gave no details on how much tickets cost or how the lottery operates.
"Famous film actress Zhang Ruifang bought $55 worth of the tickets, and she urged the whole society to support social welfare affairs," the news agency said. The average monthly wage for a factory worker in China is about $55.
The report said that China, which bans most types of gambling, plans to issue $270 million worth of lottery tickets annually.