Long lines for $8.6 million Toto draw despite rain
Rain, 1m social distancing and the long waiting time did not deter the punters who were out yesterday to buy tickets for the $8.6 million Toto draw, which takes place today.
It is the largest prize money since the draw resumed on June 25, after it was suspended because of Covid-19.
There were about 40 people in the queue at the Singapore Pools authorised retailers Seng Yeok Chan Agency at Block 338 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1 when The New Paper visited yesterday afternoon and about 20 people at Tong Aik Huat at Block 685 Hougang Street 61 in the late afternoon.
At the Ang Mo Kio outlet, a woman who wanted to be known only as Mrs Yeo estimated that she would have to wait for about 30 minutes.
Mrs Yeo, who is in her 50s, said: "I don't really have an issue waiting. I understand everyone is working on Monday and that's why they are queuing up today."
She buys Toto tickets three to four times a year and intends to spend a small amount.
A man who wanted to be known only as Kumar said he would normally buy Toto tickets once a month, but was not used to waiting for so long.
"Tomorrow is a big draw and that's the only reason I am willing to stand in the queue," the 45-year-old technician said.
Part of the reason for the long queues is social distancing.
At Seng Yeok Chan Agency, there are markers to help customers know how far to stand apart from each other.
But the queue extended far beyond the last marker.
Kumar said that was not a problem.
"We have been so used to standing 1m apart, that standing the required distance from each other comes to us naturally," he said.
Madam Cindy Cheng, 65, said that as people need to be sheltered from the rain and given the layout of the area beside the outlet, some people might end up coming too close to each other.
The property agent, who buys Toto tickets for almost every draw, said: "It is good that everyone is wearing a mask, but given the rain and the small space, it's hard to keep to the 1m distancing."
On Oct 29, Singapore Pools announced as part of its resumption of normal services that it would allow Toto to cascade at the third consecutive draw.
On June 25, it had said that to better manage queues and facilitate crowd management for compliance with safe measurement measures, it would cascade it at the second instead of the fourth consecutive draw, which were the rules prior to Covid-19.