Chinese lotto winner collects his prize wearing bear costume

Lotto winners tend to be very cautious when it comes to protecting their identity and some of them do really funny and eccentric things. Just take a look at mysterious winner from China who wore a bear suit to maintain his anonymity after winning a $85 million prize.

The 520 million Yuan jackpot that the Shanxi province man collected is the third biggest in Chinese history, but that still doesn’t make him China’s wealthiest bear. Back in 2011 someone wearing panda suit took home a $92 million prize. Others have worn superhero masks to look like Batman or Spiderman, or the Power Rangers and in August this year Mickey Mouse scored $62 million.

This may seem weird from our point of view, we are mostly keen to smiling people holding their huge cheques, rather than being covered in bright fur while collecting their winning checks. Meanwhile in China, it became a kind of tradition to see the winners disguising themselves in furry suits. They do this to avoid unwanted attention, because lottery winner’s image is typically broadcasted on local TV.

China began offering the lotto in 1987 and although the government encourages lottery winners to show themselves and help portray legitimacy in the lotto system, winners can decide to disguise themselves and decline to grant media interviews.

In the U.S. there are only five states which allow winners to collect a lottery prize while keeping their name off of public records: Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, and Ohio. The largest lottery jackpot in history was the $656 million Megamillions prize won in March 2012 by three different recipients. One of them was a Kansas native, and chose to remain anonymous.