A man was sentenced to life imprisonment for illegally collecting 28 million yuan (3.7 million U.S. dollars) by taking advantage of software flaws to rig a lottery system, according to Liaoning Provincial Higher Court in northeast China.
Zhao Liqun, 37, was a lottery agent in Anshan City. In 2005, he found that under certain conditions, it was possible to key in a valid number for the Welfare Lottery "3D" system within five minutes after the winning number was declared, the court said.
He then "bought" the winning numbers tickets many times and claimed the prizes from two or three lottery machines simultaneously. He also asked neighbors and friends to cash the tickets at the Welfare Lottery Center of Liaoning Province on his behalf.
The lottery center discovered the scam at the end of 2006 and reported it to police, who arrested Zhao in January 2007.
The Intermediate People's Court in Anshan City initially sentenced Zhao to life imprisonment for fraud but he appealed in November 2007. The higher court, however, upheld the verdict.
(Xinhua News Agency, March 12, 2008)