|Afghanistan’s first national lottery in over a decade got off to a chaotic start on Monday, with organizers failing to hand over the prizes on time.|
Local television and radio had told Afghan punters to turn up at the National Stadium to find out the winning numbers, prompting a mass turn out, but were left waiting. 'There's been some delay,' officials at the stadium said on Monday. Although no explanations were forthcoming.
Outside the metal gates, ticket holders were more confused than angry.
'Why did they tell us to come here if they are not ready?' asked one.
Ali Zafar, 15, held four tickets priced at 10,000 (24 cents) each. 'I'm here to try my luck and it's up to my luck what I win,' he said.
The prizes offered are a Corolla car, followed in descending order by a motorcycle, a Japanese TV, a heavyweight Chinese bicycle and a top cash prize of about $30 - almost a month's pay for many Afghans.
It was not clear why the lottery was halted during the chaotic civil war of the early 1990s, but most forms of entertainment were banned by the Taliban, who assumed power in 1996 and were sent packing in the wake of US and coalition military action last year.
The off-sides start to the Afghan National lottery also bodes an uneasy beginning to the possibility of the online Afghan lottery. Last week The Afghan Wireless Communication Company announced its plans to open the countries first internet cafés, making online betting accessible from the war torn country.