Expats probably do not realize it, but if they spent 3.500 colons or more via a local credit card, they were in a lottery. And they lost.
The Ministerio de Hacienda announced the results of the year’s first lottery and identified three Costa Ricans who won from 50 million to 10 million colons. That is about $96,000 to $19,000.
The ministry is trying to encourage the use of credit cards so that agents can keep track of the firms and individuals that are getting the money. Purchases at retail stores count, and payments to professionals count double, under the ministry rules.
Payments to the government, cash withdrawals, utilities, memberships and other payments that may not result in a tax situation are not included. Banks make the list of payments available to the government, which says it makes the final selection electronically.
Two more lotteries are planned this year, one in August and the other in December. Prizes again total 100 million colons.