Over the past few days I’ve talked to a number of lottery officials in various states around the nation asking, How are lottery sales these days, with all the talk of tight money and recession?
The answer I am getting is (understanding that their job is to promote sales and not be negative) that sales continue to increase.
I think that has a lot to do with the lure of easy money. The chance to win thousands with a million dollar bet.
What do you think, guys? Are you holding back on your bets? Are you playing the lottery as much as you used to?
I know, for me, I have cut back from playing five days a week to two. I love Powerball (I live in a Powerball state) and I love to scratch. I have stopped playing the Pick3 and Pick4 games for a while, though.
This morning, I ran across an item in a Boston newspaper about how successful their $20 scratch games have been. The Massachusetts state said that last year’s $20 scratch ticket was the most successful in U.S. lottery history – and is betting on another one.
The state printed up 65 billion of the Billion Dollar Bonanza instant tickets and began offering them on Thursday.
Dan Rosenthal, a spokesman for the lottery, said sales of the tickets are still rising despite the downturn on Wall Street, although the increase has slowed a bit.
Massachusetts, mind you, has always been a state where the lottery offers scratch games with good oddsbetter than most casino games. Example: The odds for winning in both the Bonanza and last year’s $20 ticket, the Billion Dollar Blockbuster, were (and are) one in three.
Lotteries around he nation have learned that there are totally separate market for high end games, $20 and $30 cards, as long as the odds are good.
“I’ll try one. What have I got to lose with 1 in 3 odds?” said a player I know in Massachusetts.
Most people play the $1, $2 and $3 games.
Confession: had I expendable income, I’d play the $20 games.
What’s your experience? What is your favorite lottery game? I’d like to have you share your ideas with me.
And if you have any good scratch game stories, I’d like to hear them. If I can verify your story, I’ll send you a free copy of my now out of print book, Jackpot.
In the Money:
Tonight’s Mega Millions draw is worth $42 million.
Tomorrow night’s Powerball jackpot is worth $20 million. We are still waiting to see who, in New Mexico, owns the one winning ticket worth $206.9 million. As soon as we find out, you’ll find out. Plus, we’ll run a photo of the winners right here, on my blog site.
Good luck, everyone.