Decoding Shillong Night Teer: The Traditional Archery-Based Lottery of Meghalaya

Nestled in the scenic hills of Meghalaya, Shillong is not only known for its breathtaking landscapes but also for a unique cultural phenomenon: the Shillong Night Teer. This traditional archery-based lottery has been a significant part of the local heritage, captivating the interest of residents and tourists alike. Shillong Night Teer

The Origin of Teer

Teer, derived from the Hindi word for “arrow,” is a lottery game deeply rooted in the tribal traditions of Meghalaya. The Khasi tribe, known for their rich cultural heritage, originally practiced archery as a means of hunting and warfare. Over time, this practice evolved into a recreational activity and eventually morphed into the modern-day Teer game, a unique blend of sport and gambling.

How Shillong Night Teer Works

Shillong Night Teer is held in the evening, typically around 7 PM. The game is conducted by the Khasi Hills Archery Sports Association, which comprises a group of archery clubs. The rules are straightforward yet intriguing:

  1. The Archers and the Targets: Each evening, around 50 archers assemble in the Polo Ground of Shillong. Armed with traditional bamboo bows and arrows, they shoot at a cylindrical bamboo target.
  2. The Shooting Session: The archers shoot in two rounds, each lasting approximately five minutes. In each round, hundreds of arrows are shot at the target. The count of arrows that hit the target is crucial to the lottery.
  3. The Lottery Numbers: After each round, the total number of arrows hitting the target is counted. This count is then used to determine the winning numbers. For instance, if 756 arrows hit the target, the last two digits (56) form the winning number.
  4. Betting and Payouts: Participants place their bets on the last two digits of the arrow count. Bets can be placed at various Teer counters scattered across the city. The payout ratio can vary, but it often ranges from 1:70 to 1:80, making it an enticing gamble for many.

Legal and Cultural Significance

Unlike many other forms of gambling, Shillong Night Teer is legal in Meghalaya. The state government regulates the game, ensuring fair play and transparency. The proceeds from the game also contribute to the welfare of the local community, funding various developmental projects and sports initiatives.

Culturally, Teer is more than just a lottery. It is a social event that brings people together, fostering a sense of community and shared excitement. The archers, often revered in their communities, take pride in their skill, and the spectators revel in the thrill of anticipation.

The Mathematics of Teer

Interestingly, Shillong Night Teer also attracts enthusiasts who try to predict the winning numbers using mathematical formulas and historical data. Various websites and groups are dedicated to analyzing past results, identifying patterns, and offering predictions. While these methods add an analytical dimension to the game, the inherent randomness ensures that luck remains a key factor.


Shillong Night Teer is a fascinating amalgamation of tradition, sport, and chance. It offers a glimpse into the rich cultural tapestry of Meghalaya while providing an evening of excitement and anticipation. Whether you are a local resident or a curious tourist, experiencing Shillong Night Teer is a unique way to engage with the local heritage and perhaps, test your luck with the arrows.

This traditional lottery continues to thrive, preserving an age-old practice while adapting to the modern era, making it a distinctive and enduring aspect of Shillong’s cultural identity.


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