Religion, prosperity, and lottery lore; The linkage of new religious networks to gambling practices in Thailand

Abstract

During visits to Buddhist temples, many Thais listen attentively for any number that a popular monk might reference while preaching; in the same way, numerous lottery seekers make offerings at spirit shrines in the hope of seeing numbers while at the shrine or later in their dreams. In both cases, the procurement of lottery numbers is linked to Buddhist ideas of authority, sanctity, and miraculous powers and to stories of spirits who grant boons to their patrons. This chapter provides a brief history of lottery practice in modern Thailand and the contested relationship between the lottery and government and explores how various media disseminate specific lottery numbers and offer a forum for the creation of lottery lore and new religious networks for prosperity seekers.

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