Hacking Colombia: Lotteries

There are a lot of lotteries in Colombia. Cities, states (departamentos as they call them here) and charities have their lottery tickets selling throughout the country. Thus, you could be in Medellín and buy tickets for the Medellín, Bogotá, Boyacá, Manizales and Cruz Roja (Red Cross) lotteries, among others.

Here’s where it might get a bit confusing: tickets here usually come in threes, all with the same numbers! If you say you want a “tiquete” that’s what you’ll get – the series of 3. If you just want one, you will ask for “una fracción” (a fraction). The idea is that if your ticket wins, you get the entire prize, whereas if you have only a portion of a ticket, you win 1/3 of the prize (or 2/3 rd if you have 2 fractions). If other people also have a fraction of the ticket, they’ll get their slice of the prize.

Wait, there’s more! Ticket numbers are not just one number but two. A series number and the ticket number proper. To win, you have to hit both. Some lotteries have lesser prizes for those that hit the series number and some numbers found in the winning ticket number. There’s often a bunch of other smaller prizes awarded to other individual series + ticket number combos, usually referred to as “secos” (dry prizes)

The odds of winning are minuscule, but hey, you’re lucky right?!

Note: Lottery winnings are taxable in Colombia