Disabled lottery vendors hopes for better life for daughter

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Mongkok Buakiew hasn’t been able to walk since childhood, but still manages to take care of himself and his family.

The Sukhotai native, a victim of an unknown childhood disease that left him disabled, has sold lottery tickets in Pattaya for five years. A married father of two, Mongkok has carved out a life of independence and is proud that he doesn’t have to depend on the state for his care.

That doesn’t mean he couldn’t use some help, however.

Mongkol Buakiew survives by selling lottery tickets in Pattaya. Mongkol Buakiew survives by selling lottery tickets in Pattaya.

Mongkok, 41, works hard, but has little to show for it. Out the door at 9 a.m. each day, he doesn’t return home until 10 p.m. He buys lottery tickets from a broker for 92 baht each and sells them for 100 baht. On a good day, he’ll take home 400 baht profit, all of which goes to pay for his youngest daughter’s schooling, rent and daily expenses.

He’s not looking for a handout. Mongkok says he’s been lucky in life in that he met a good woman who took care of him. They had two girls together. One is already grown and living in Sukhothai with her family. A few years ago, his wife moved in with that daughter, leaving him to care for their youngest, who is a third-level student in Pattaya.

He works for her, hoping she’ll have an easier time in life than him. When there is extra money, he sends it to his wife up north.

What would make life easier, Mongkok said, would be to buy lottery tickets directly, rather than through a broker. He’d dramatically increase his profit level.

The government offers a program to sell directly to the disabled so as to provide a means for an independent life. But the number of disabled sellers has increased in recent years and he’s gotten no help from lottery officials. He said if he could simply find investors willing to join him, he could buy larger lots of tickets and pay lower wholesale costs, increasing his earnings.

Those interested in joining Mongkok’s efforts can telephone him at 081-041-3489.