TAIPEI, Feb 16 — New York Knicks star Jeremy Lin, whose parents are Taiwanese, has boosted the island’s sport lottery sales by 50 per cent since he became a NBA sensation last week, the lotto company said Wednesday.
Taiwanese fans placed a seasonal record of Tw$9 million (RM930,000) in bets on Saturday’s match in which the Knicks defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves 100-98 for their fifth victory in a row, said the Taiwan Sports Lottery.
Lin (picture) scored 20 points, including the go-ahead free throw with 4.9 seconds remaining, in the match eagerly watched by local fans.
Bets on matches featuring Lin grew at least 50 per cent with the majority of buyers betting on a Knicks’ victory while Saturday’s sales were 1.5 times higher than an average NBA match, it said.
The company expected sales to keep growing as Lin-sanity continued on Tuesday with him scoring the game-winning three pointer with half a second left in the fourth to beat Toronto 90-87.
Lin, the first US-born NBA player of Taiwanese descent, has captured attention worldwide after coming off the Knicks bench and helping New York to triumphs.
In Taiwan, his wins are being hailed as grounds for island-wide celebration and he is inspiring a feverish following in a society craving true heroes.
Gambling is banned in Taiwan, apart from lotteries run by authorised banks. — AFP-Relaxnews