KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - Some Malaysian shops selling lottery tickets have rejected bets on numbers linked to the downing of a jetliner over eastern Ukraine. Da Ma Cai, Toto and Magnum outlets had stopped taking bets on the numbers 1717 and 777 since Friday, the Sunday Star reported. Flight MH17, a Boeing 777, was downed on July 17 over Ukraine. All 298 people on board were killed.
A Reuters visit to Toto and Magnum outlets revealed 1717 was "sold out", meaning further bets were off. Gambling is hugely popular in Malaysia but strictly controlled with the four-digit lottery a favorite. Many Asian gamblers believe that numbers associated with bad luck, such as car numbers at an accident site, will later bring good luck. "It is not about bad taste or anything, it is just that too many people are buying the number," a cashier working with Magnum Bhd said, adding that the company would have to pay out too much if the number came up.
First published July 20 2014, 4:59 AM