China's lottery sales soared 18.7 percent year on year to 20.01 billion yuan (3.26 billion U.S. dollars) in February, new data showed Tuesday. Sales of welfare lottery tickets rose 18.9 percent to 11.76 billion yuan, while sports lottery sales rose 18.3 percent year on year to 8.25 billion yuan, the Ministry of Finance said in a statement. In the first two months, total lottery sales stood at 47.16 billion yuan, up 13 percent from a year earlier. Money raised through lotteries is used for the jackpot, management fees and welfare of the public, according to China's lottery management rules. Last year, total lottery sales topped 309 billion yuan, up 18.3 percent year on year, the ministry's data showed.