Lottery tickets sell like hotcakes .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:none; color:#000000;} .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink:hover { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:underline; color:#990000;} ISTANBUL - Lottery tickets printed by Milli Piyango, the Turkish National Lottery Administration, are selling like hotcakes this year.

Milli Piyango runs a special lottery draw every Dec. 31 for New Year's Eve and people have shown great interest in the tickets. This year, the idea of celebrating the new year with YTL 25 million is attracting more than a few Turks to ticket sale booths in Istanbul and across the country.

Five days prior to the big lottery, 85 percent of tickets have been sold, reported the Anatolia News Agency on Wednesday.

Citizens from Istanbul, Ankara and İzmir have shown the greatest interest in tickets.

Branches of the national lottery in Istanbul’s Bahçekapı and Kadıköy, Ankara’s Başkent and İzmir’s Konak have sold the most tickets.

Out of total ticket sales so far, over 23 percent of lottery tickets were distributed to Istanbul branches, the Bahçekapı branch bought most of the distributed tickets, one in 10 tickets sold, to people who now await their fortune. The Kadıköy, Aksaray and Ankara’s Başkent branches followed Bahçekapı. İzmir residents bought over 4 percent of the tickets, Konak residents bought 2.76 percent and Karşıyaka residents bought 1.71 percent.

In other cities around Turkey 18 branches have already distributed tickets, selling 17.1 percent of tickets and the main branches around Turkey have sold 32.9 percent. Most of the branches expect tickets to be sold out over the weekend.

People’s dreams are very different. Faik Akdinç, who lives in Van, said he would build mosques for people to pray in. He also wanted to build hospitals and schools. Ahmet Aydın said he would help the poor, while other people said they would spend all the money on themselves, to buy a new house or car.