The Singapore Pools will be increasing the number pool for its lottery draw, making it harder to strike the jackpot for punters. Other changes include the increase of prize money across the prize groups and introduction of a new 3-number combination prize group.
Starting from 7th October this year, pool of numbers from which the six-number combination are selected for the lottery draw will increase from 45 numbers to 49 numbers. Though it may be harder to strike the jackpot, punters may be happy to know that the prize money for the group 1 prize will be increased to a minimum of S$1 million from the previous minimum of $500,000.
Currently the odds of striking the jackpot at the group 1 prize is at one in 8.1 million, while with the new rules, the chances of that have dwindled down to one in 13.9 million.
For the sake of comparison, TOC has done up a table for the reader to count their chances in the new system.
Singapore Pools is revamping the Toto game too, the first time since 1997, which some has attributed to the higher taxes on lotteries since 1st July 2014. The increase in duties is 5% from the previous 25% to the current 30% of gross bets.
Punters will find it more expensive to place bets now with the minimum betting amount being increased from 50 cents to $1 for the ordinary bet. This increase will also be reflected in the other system bets. For example, system 7 which allows the selection of 7 numbers is now increased to $7 from the previous $3.50.
The consolation for many recreational punters is that there will be a new prize category, for a winning combination of three numbers. The prize money for this prize group is $10.
While Singapore Pools will increase the winnings for the fifth and sixth prizes, it will reduce the prize money for the second, third and fourth prizes from 13% for all the prizes to a declining prize allocation of 8%, 5.5% and 3%.
The total prize pool for the top 4 prize groups will be reduced from 72% of prize pool to 54.5 %. This reduction is likely to cater for the new prize group for the 3 number combination which will see to a large number of winners.
According to My Paper, Singapore Pools confirmed the changes, saying that it was responding to "customers' request over the years for a higher jackpot prize and new prize category for matching three numbers".
A Singapore Pools spokesman said the changes in the Toto game are "not an attempt to pass on the effect of increased betting duties to customers".
Singapore Pools is a state-owned lottery subsidiary company in Singapore. As a wholly owned subsidiary of the Tote Board, it is the only operator that is legally allowed to run lotteries in Singapore.
The proceeds from Toto betting, like the surpluses from other Singapore Pools games such as the Singapore Sweep and 4-D, are donated to causes such as the Community Chest.