I was never a coupon clipper mostly due to laziness and hating extra paperwork. I’m sure I lost a lot of money by not joining the millions of households that carefully went through their Sunday newspapers to clip out, organize and actually plan a shopping trip to use the coupon. It is the same with saving receipts, except on big purchases or items I might return. You might have guessed already that I’m not much for returning items either. My husband kept asking me this past year if I wanted to know what the numbers meant on the various receipts and I assumed it was just trivial stuff that my poor brain didn’t need to know. For me, the receipt was a place to put my used gum and toss it in the next bin.
Seriously, why would I care about the long tiny numbers at the bottom of the receipt when I barely pay attention to all the little taxes or line items in Czech. Today I finally listened to the answer about those tiny numbers and found out about the receipt lottery here in the Czech Republic. For those of us who have lived in the Czech Republic more than a few years you probably remember the handwritten receipts or getting nothing at all. Most countries require the business to provide a receipt, but Czech Republic did not until recently. This was a country that preferred cash only for obvious reasons. Businesses didn’t want to pay taxes to the government on their sales. I think they also liked the idea of ‘pricing flexibility’ with their customers. Locals probably made better deals than us expats or foreigners.
However, the question for the Ministry of Finance was how to motivate the businesses to be honest and report all sales. The plan they came up with was quite clever, but involved the customers. Instead of costly controls, they decided on some positive motivation for the people by making the receipts part of a lottery. It means the customer enters the receipt information (date, time, total amount and tracking numbers). Now they had their free data entry people with by giving them the incentive to record all their receipts. Once it is entered from home or from the app it goes into the monthly drawing for prizes.
Where else can you play a lottery for free? The monthly prizes include a car as well as different denominations of money up to 1,000,000 crowns! Am I a gambler? Hell no. I hate losing money. But with this kind of incentive, I think I can send in a few receipts per month (up to 500 maximum, not from the same store).
They say about 68% of Czechs consider it to be a positive program. I’m sure the businesses are not so happy but if it leads to less corruption the better. Unfortunately, like all governments they seem to be even more corrupt than the businesses. We can only hope that changes over time, until then I’m busy now entering receipts.
For more information on how to play go to https://www.uctenkovka.cz/ Just remember that I gave you this tip and if you win you must give me half!