Chinese Lottery Winners Collect Prizes Dressed as Cartoon Characters to Protect Their Identity

A Chinese man was recently in the news for not only winning millions of yuan in a lottery, but also for the bizarre costume he wore while collecting his prize. The man, believed to be about 40 years old, was so worried about revealing his identity that he actually turned up dressed as the popular Disney character Baymax!

Speaking to reporters, the man revealed that he had won 170 million yuan (approximately $27 million) even though he rarely buys lottery tickets.  As for the strange costume, the man revealed that his wife forced him into wearing it, fearing that old friends and long-lost relatives might suddenly show up expecting a small share of the prize. But no costume can actually help him evade the mandatory 20 percent tax on lottery winnings, which means he will have to cough up about 34 million yuan to give back to the state.


As it turns out, this man isn’t the first lottery winner to adopt the eccentric practice of accepting winnings in disguise. Lots of Chinese winners tend to be very cautious about protecting their identity, to dodge thieves and relatives. So they turn up wearing superhero masks or costumes. In fact the tradition dates back to about 25 years or so.


In October 2014, a man from Shanxi province collected his 520 million yuan ($85 million) prize dressed in a yellow bear suit. He actually wore the suit throughout a press conference, answering all sorts of questions from reporters. Unlike the Baymax man, this guy said that he routinely spent 20,000 to 30,000 yuan on lottery tickets each year. His persistence finally paid off when he won the third largest jackpot handed out in China’s history.


In August last year, a man dressed as Mickey Mouse took home a whopping 398 million yuan, while another man in a panda costume collected the 565 million yuan jackpot in 2011. Several pictures on Chinese social media show other winners wearing pollution masks, Avengers masks, Spiderman masks, and party masks!





Sources: CRI Online, Lottery Post, USA Today

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