Japanese Journal of Cultural Anthropology
Online ISSN : 2424-0516
Print ISSN : 1349-0648
ISSN-L : 1349-0648
Original Articles
A Play with Contingency
Betting Practices and Discourses of the Lottery Players in Philippines
Fumiko Morota
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2021 Volume 86 Issue 3 Pages 365-383


This paper analyzes how the world of play is imagined and constructed by people who repeatedly immerse themselves in betting through an examination of betting practices, using a case study of a Philippine numerical lottery, and an interpretation of the results. In play theory, numerical lottery, which is a simple game of pure chance, is classified as a “boring” game in which the player has no autonomous involvement. But in this case study, it is transformed into an “interesting” game, similar to the process of solving a mystery through the imagination of the gamblers. The gamblers examined in this study would often evaluate the numbers they perceive in all the things and events of the everyday world in order to predict numbers, and they understand the outcome of their bets by retrospectively referring to the past and history of the circumstances that surround themselves. The process of betting on numbers functions as an opportunity to check the present level of one's own efficacy. The fun of the number lottery is fostered by playing with luck and hunting for it.

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