Keep Your Receipt if You Like to Gamble


In Canada, receipts, especially for small ticket items like a juice or a candy bar, are avoided like the plague. In Taiwan, not so. And I couldn't for the life of me understand why. So after several unsuccessful attempts at giving store clerks the slip before they could give me my receipt, I learned 我不用了 (I don't need it). I was very proud of this. That is until, a month of rejected receipts later, a friend informed me that every receipt in Taiwan has a lottery number on it. Yes. I had unknowingly been saying no to free lottery tickets several times a day. It turns out that the government decided the best way to ensure businesses stay honest with their bookkeeping is to make receipts so valuable that customers demand them. So they made a bi-monthly lottery that uses store receipts as the tickets. Given how attached I've become to my overflowing collection of otherwise trivial receipts, I'd say it's working.