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Cambodians seek fortune by betting on their dreams

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For many punters, interpreting the signs and symbols in their dreams plays a vital part in winning it big in one of the Kingdom’s numerous lottery draws

Cambodians around the country are dreaming of winning it big in one of the Kingdom's numerous mei chnaot, or daily lottery draws. While many test their luck on a regular basis, dreams have played a vital part in both winning and losing for many punters.

Than Sythoun, a 30-year-old lottery aficionado, has been using his dreams to play the game for about two years. He started his gaming career after his paternal great-grandmother spoke to him in a dream, providing him with the winning combination 4098 and the letter A.

"In the dream, I was looking at a fax machine and suddenly these numbers came out on a piece of paper with the letter A," Than Sythoun said, adding that the A stands for the lottery type - in this case, the Vietnamese lottery.

Than Sythoun decided to play a different number combination on the basis of the dream and ended up getting three out of four lottery digits correct, earning him a tidy sum of US$340.

Each lottery draw normally comprises four numbers,  and players can bet on two, three or all of them.

In Than Sythoun's first attempt at the game, he guessed three of the four digits correctly using 098 out of his dream combination of 4098. When the numbers 6098 were drawn, he won because he had guessed the last three numbers.

In the dream I was

looking at a fax machine and

suddenly these numbers came out on a piece of paper.

The prizes Than Sythoun and other players can win grow exponentially with the amount of numbers in the combination they dare to bet on.  

Ever since he won his first game, Than Sythoun has used his dreams to play the lottery and sees the signs he receives as a blessing from his great-grandmother.

"It might seem weird, but I strongly believe that she helps me when I lack money or am in a bad spirit," he said.

"I often think of her before going to bed, and sometimes I pray for her to give me clear numbers to win the lottery," he said, adding that he plays once or twice a week.

Sometimes a whole month can go by without Than Sythoun dreaming, but he still waits patiently for messages. "I only play when I have a dream," he said.

Don't push luck

Khoun Tan, a 60-year-old worker at the Angkor Beer Company, used to spend from 3,000 to 5,000 riels each day on the lottery, and he says his dreams also helped him to win.

"When I had dreams, I was sure that I was going to win. I could guess what numbers to bet on. For example, if I dreamed about an egg, I would use the zero [in my combination]," he said, adding that he sometimes won more than $100 using this method.

But a while back, his luck ran out.

"Recently, I stopped playing because I often lost. I had bad dreams almost every night and I could not win anymore," he said, adding that he also felt too old for the lottery circuit.  

Than Sythoun agrees that it is important not to force the numbers. He speaks eagerly of the various dreams that have helped him profit but that have also on occasion lost him money.

"I do not go around and try to see numbers everywhere. I try to let the numbers come to me," he said. "Out of 10 games, I win around 7 or 8."

Testing lucky dreams

The Phnom Penh Post decided to put Than Sythoun's theory to the test by gambling 1,200 riels on different number combinations using some of the digits from one of his dreams.

Whether or not this dream came from Than Sythoun's great-grandmother is uncertain. Either way, he was more than happy to share his luck.

"I was walking when an old lady carrying a young baby guessed my age to be 16. She was flirting with me, saying that she had to sleep with her husband first and then we could go to a pagoda," he said, adding that amid the interesting ending of the dream, only the number 16 was worth using in the lottery.     

There is an elaborate philosophy when it comes to interpreting various dream signs and symbols, said Than Sythoun confidently.

Hands equal five - the number of fingers on each hand - while man symbolises nine and woman is seven or eight. If you see a dog in your dream, you should use the digit four because of the dog's four legs, and a mobile phone is four as well because of its four corners.    

There is even a book on the market on how to interpret dreams for use in lotteries, with over a hundred pages of pictures suggesting ways of converting dream sequences into digits.    

"Some poor people like motorbike taxi drivers play a lot and try to find number combination all the time. They hope to change their luck by taking a chance," Than Sythoun said.    

Currently, five different companies are offering lottery games in Phnom Penh, making it possible to play four different draws three times per day. In total, that would make 12 different draws that you would have to play if your dream did not specify the exact time and type of lottery.

The Phnom Penh Post and Than Sythoun failed to win any money on this occasion by using his dream, but he insists that if he had used his dream digits in all possible combinations, it would have produced a winner.

"Sometimes I get the numbers right but I do not use them the right way," Than Sythoun said.

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