China's lottery sales rose 9.4 percent year on year to 104.18 billion yuan (around 16.5 billion U.S. dollars) in the first quarter of this year, official data showed.
March alone saw lottery tickets worth over 40 billion yuan sold, a year-on-year increase of 5.9 percent, according to the Ministry of Finance.
Sales of welfare lottery tickets went up 1.8 percent to 52.25 billion yuan, while sports lottery sales rose 18.3 percent to 51.93 billion yuan.
Central China's Hunan Province registered leading year-on-year growth of 1.42 billion yuan in the first three months.
Under lottery management laws, money from lottery ticket sales covers administrative fees, public welfare projects and prize money.