Ethiopian Business Review

Since the National Lottery Administration began its operation by issuing the first lottery named Regular lottery on September 8, 1961, it has introduced and sold a variety of lotteries to the mass. The Administration claims to give livelihoods for more than ten thousand vendors, providing them 15Pct commission fee. Through the years these lotteries have become part of the popular culture, even to the extent that the advertisements of the lottery administration are incorporated in the lyrics of young boys’ songs of ‘Hoya Hoye’ during the annual Buhe festivities. 

This integration of the lotteries in the society’s collective mentality is what makes it shocking when one sees the elements in one of the instant lotteries currently in circulation. This instant lottery game is played by scratching the designated place to find a shield and spear which can make one win up to ETB twenty five thousand. What makes this game really disturbing is that not only do we have to look for a shield and spear, which are basically war toys albeit cultural, but also the scariness other elements in the game that we will encounter when scratching the instant lottery. These items range from bombs which are about to explode to bullets and pistols with accompanying pictorial representation. One wonders the reason behind putting all these destructive and violent items on a lottery is, especially in a nation that is struggling to  let go off its war torn past. Why do we have to make these kinds vicious items part of the scenes of everyday life. These kinds of images and violent elements presented to the public totally negate the social engineering through which the nation tries to create a peaceful and accommodating society. Better to look for peaceful and chummy substitutes. And soon.

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