My dissertation, Wagering on Welfare; Explaining Provincial Variation in the Chinese Welfare Lottery, assessed the effectiveness of the lottery as a social welfare funding mechanism, illustrating how provincial opportunities, abilities, and incentives shape lottery results, in some instances diverting the lottery from its intended purpose, particularly as lottery play moves onto smartphones. Many countries use lotteries as alternatives to taxation, and China’s Welfare lottery is among the worlds’ largest. Because the lottery intermediates public ambitions and private incentives it reflects China’s unevenly distributed provincial economic endowments and welfare burdens, tradeoffs between central party-state and local needs, and distortions encouraged by development incentives, particularly with mobile technology. The dissertation, the coursework, my tutor and professors, and my fellow students renewed my longstanding passion for the study of China. I am thrilled to have been a part of the Contemporary Chinese Studies program over the last nine months, and deeply honored to be the recipient of such a distinguished prize from the Ko family.