Gambling addict jailed for setting lottery machine on fire

A gambling addict set fire to a lottery machine after the store's owner refused to let him borrow money to buy more tickets. He has been jailed for four years.

A lottery enthusiast has been jailed for four years for arson after he set fire to a lottery machine to vent his frustration at spending more than 6 million yuan (US$950,148) gambling, according to the Pudong New Area People’s Court.

The man surnamed Xu, 41, became obsessed with the lottery in 2010. He squandered all of his savings and even sold several apartments to fund his addiction. 

Early on he won some money, but later lost even more money. Then he resorted to borrowing money from relatives and friends, the court said.

At 7pm on October 31, 2017, he carried a bottle of alcohol to a lottery retailing site in the Pudong New Area. He ordered the owner surnamed Chen to lend him money, but he was refused. 

He then proceeded to pour the alcohol over the lottery machine and ignited it with a lighter, the court said.

No one was injured because the store owner and other customers put the fire out in time. But the machine, worth 1,794 yuan, was damaged. Police were called and caught Xu at the scene.

“About three to four years ago, I won a jackpot of 1 million yuan, but I just used it to buy more lottery tickets. Now, I have nothing, homeless and jobless,” Xu told police. 

“So, I decided to borrow money from Chen as I frequently visited his site. I had made a plan that if he refused me, I would just set his place on fire.” 

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