For Thai lottery addicts, life is a continual search for lucky numbers. Some are now grumbling that Prime Minister Yingluck is making their lives difficult by fixing the results to match her license plate numbers.
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When Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra attends an event, you can be sure many of those in the crowd will be looking at the licence plate number of the vehicle she arrived in. APICHART JINAKUL.
Disgruntled lottery losers not happy with Yingluck
The saying politics is a numbers game took on a bizarre new meaning on Friday when Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra was accused by losing punters of fixing winning lottery digits to match the licence plate numbers of vehicles she used.
The losing lottery players made the accusation after the latest lottery draw on Friday. The winning six-digit number for the jackpot was 565566 and the winning two-digit number was 66, which matched the last two digits of the registration plate number on the van in which Ms Yingluck travelled to Uttaradit for a mobile cabinet meeting last month.
And that was not the only such case of lottery and licence plate numbers lining up. Looking back, the critics found similarities in seven previous draws since Ms Yingluck came to power. They alleged that the numbers were rigged so that lottery wins would be associated with the prime minister, thus boosting her appeal in a gambling-happy nation.
The underground lottery uses the final two digits of the official lottery to determine winners. And those on the losing end say a clear pattern connected to the PM has emerged.
In the Sep 1, 2011 draw, the first prize's last three-digit winning number "533" matched numbers on a police vehicle in her motorcade bearing the number "4533" and numbers of her own car's licence plate number "333".
The Sep 16, 2011 draw had a first-prize two-digit number of "98", matching the plate numbers of the first van used by Ms Yingluck during her election campaign.
On Nov 16, 2011, the draw's first-prize three-digit number was "777", which matched the plate number of a car used to pick up her son, and the two-digit prize in the same draw matched the plate number of a passenger bus which carried Ms Yingluck during the flood rescue operation.
The other draws with matching numbers were on Aug 16 and Dec 16 last year and the latest Feb 1 draw.
Some ticket sellers had also wised up to the trend.
Ticket seller Surasak, 51, said many lottery watchers thought it was unusual that the winning numbers had matched the licence plate numbers on Ms Yingluck's vehicles on several occasions.
Several customers suspected the winning numbers may have been manipulated, Mr Surasak said.
Lottery player Nongkran, 48, said that although the Government Lottery Office insists that the winning numbers are not fixed, several betters thought otherwise.
Speculation about the alleged lotto fixing has been so rampant that one reporter on Friday asked the prime minister whether the allegations were true. She laughed in reply and denied that that they were.
licence plate – a flat piece of metal or plastic on the front and back of a vehicle that shows its license number แผ่นป้ายทะเบียนรถยนต์
disgruntled – disappointed and annoyed about something ซึ่งทำให้ไม่พอใจ, ซึ่งทำให้ขุ่นเคือง
bizarre – very strange and unusual แปลกประหลาด,วิตถาร,ผิดปกติ
punter – a person who gambles นักเสี่ยงโชค
fix – to dishonestly arrange something so that it has the result you want ใช้วิธีการอันมิชอบ, เล่ห์เหลี่ยมเข้าคุม
digit – any one of the ten numbers 0 to 9 ตัวเลข (0 ถึง 9)
match – to be the same as or very similar to something else เท่าเทียมกันกับ, เท่ากันกับ
draw – a way of choosing something such as a name or number by chance, in this case, choosing opponents การจับฉลาก
jackpot – a large amount of money that is the most valuable prize in a game of chance เงินรางวัลจากการเล่นเกมหรือเสี่ยงโชค
mobile – able to move or be moved around ซึ่งเคลื่อนที่ได้ง่าย
cabinet – the group of government ministers who make and approve government policy คณะรัฐมนตรี
critic – a person who expresses disapproval of somebody/something and talks about their bad qualities, especially publicly ผู้วิจารณ์, ผู้จับผิด, ผู้วิเคราะห์
similarity – being like somebody/something but not exactly the same ความคล้ายคลึง, ความเหมือน
allege – to claim to be true, even though this has not yet been proved กล่าวหา
rig – to fix; to arrange or influence something in a dishonest way in order to get the result that you want วางแผนหลอกลวง, ใช้วิธีการอันมิชอบ
associated with – connected with in some way ที่เชื่อมโยงกัน
boost – to increase; to strengthen เพิ่ม; ทำให้มีกำลังมากขึ้น
appeal – a quality that causes someone to like or want something ความดึงดูดใจ, ความน่าสนใจ, ความเย้ายวน
gambling – the activity of betting money, for example in a game or on a horse race การพนัน
gambling-happy – addicted to gambling; loving gambling
determine – to discover something by examining evidence to or calculate something กำหนด, ระบุ, แสดงผล
pattern – a series of actions or events that together show how things normally happen or are done แบบฉบับ, แบบแผน
emerge – to become known เป็นที่ประจักษ์ต่อ
motorcade – a group of cars traveling with someone very important ขบวนรถ
bear – to show something; to carry something so that it can be seen แสดง
campaign – a planned series of activities designed to persuade voters to vote for a particular candidate or political party การรณรงค์หาสียง
rescue – saving a person or animal from a dangerous or unpleasant situation การช่วยชีวิต
operation – a planned activity involving a lot of people, especially soldiers or police officers การปฏิบัติการ
wise up – to become aware of the unpleasant truth about a situation รู้ตัว, ไหวตัวทัน
trend – a gradual change or development that produces a particular result ทิศทาง แนวโน้ม
suspect – to believe that something is true, especially something bad สงสัย
manipulate – to control something or someone to your advantage, often unfairly or dishonestly ชักใย
insist – to keep saying very firmly that something is true ยืนกราน ยืนยัน
otherwise – if not; used for saying that if one thing does not happen or is not true, something else will happen, usually something bad มิฉะนั้น, ไม่เช่นนั้น
speculation – ideas or discussion about what might happen or has happened or why something has happened without having complete information การคาดการณ์
rampant – existing, happening or spreading in an uncontrolled way รุกลาม อาละวาด กำเริบ รุนแรงจนควบคุมไว้ไม่ได้
reporter – someone whose job is to write articles or make broadcasts about events in the news ผู้สื่อข่าว, นักข่าว
reply – an answer การตอบ
deny – to not allow someone to have or do something ไม่ยอมรับ, ปฏิเสธ