Wheelchair-bound lottery seller rolls through East on quest for customers

Bielae Biepha steers his wheelchair along Thailand’s eastern region selling lottery tickets.

A Chiang Mai man is steering his wheelchair dozens of kilometers a week to sell lottery tickets in the Eastern region of Thailand.

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Bielae Biepha, 36, isn’t content to stay in one place. And despite not being able to drive, he uses his arms to push his own wheelchair 40 kilometers between downtown Chonburi and Samut Prakan looking for ticket buyers.

Passersby stop to buy lottery tickets from Bielae along Sukhumvit highway in Chonburi Province.

On Sept. 29, Bielae was spotted on Sukhumvit Road entering Bangsaen Beach. Cars actually pulled over to buy tickets from him.

Bielae suffers from myasthenia gravis, a long-term neuromuscular disease that leads to varying degrees of skeletal muscle weakness. While it has left him unable to walk, his arms and hands remain rock solid.

He was born and raised in Chiang Mai, but was unable to find work there and moved to Chonburi a year ago. Much of the money he makes selling lottery tickets Bielae sends home to his mother.

Customer Ponthakorn Boonsom, 42, said he stopped his car because he admired the effort Bielae makes to earn a living and support himself and his family.

Enduring the extreme heat of the sun, Bielae rolls his wheelchair along the highway peddling his lottery tickets.

Motorists pull up alongside Bielae hoping to buy a winning lottery ticket.


Ponthakorn Boonsom said he was touched by Biele’s efforts and determination, so he stopped to buy five lottery tickets.