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Texas Lottery introduces $50 scratch ticket

Texas LotteryTexas Lottery: Texas Lottery introduces $50 scratch ticket
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Once, the biggest dreams in Texas only cost a buck.

Now, Texas Lottery officials are upping the ante on instant miracles to $50.

That's the price of the state's newest scratch-off game, dubbed $130 Million Spectacular, which goes on sale Monday and offers nearly $134 million in prizes, including three grand prizes of $5 million.

A $50 game is the highest price for a scratch-off in the nation, according to lottery data. Kansas introduced the first $50 ticket two years ago and Michigan also will launch one on Monday. Compare that to California, where the most expensive scratch-off ticket is $5. In New York, it's $20.

Officials in Texas evidently believe their new game will do well; they're printing 3.7 million of the $50 tickets and are planning to soon introduce a second $50 game.

Keith Whyte, executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling, said the introduction of higher-priced games reflected an arms race among states for gambling dollars.

After Texas voters approved the creation of the state lottery, tickets for the agency's first game - a scratch-off called Lone Star Millions - sold for $1 apiece. Players now choose among online games and 80 or so popular scratch-offs, which have become the agency's meat and potatoes, generating $2.8 billion in sales last year.

The agency offered its first $3 scratch-off in 1997. By 2000, it had a $10 game; a $20 game in 2002 and a $30 game in 2004. Last year, $1 scratch-off tickets accounted for just 11 percent of all scratch-off sales, while nearly a third came from tickets priced between $10 and $30.

The $50 game comes with a 63 percent chance of losing.

Those odds won't deter Mike Swain, 44, a driver for a moving company who picked up $4 worth of scratch-offs in East Austin this week.

"I'll try it. I definitely could try it once. Sometimes I have $50 extra," he said.

Swain, who estimates taking home between $1,800 and $2,000 a month, said he plays scratch-off games daily, plopping down $4 to $6 at a time.

Gerald Busald, a math professor at San Antonio College who analyzes lottery practices, had this advice for those itching to wager 50 bucks on a single ticket: Don't.

"You can have the same dream for $1 that you can for $20 or $30 or $50," he said. "You're not going to win."

Of course, it's the exceptions that fuel the dreams that last year pulled in a cool $3.8 billion from all the Texas lottery games. If all tickets to the new game were sold, state coffers would net $51 million after the commission pays out $134 million in prizes.

Before launching the $50 game, the Lottery Commission surveyed frequent scratch-off players to find out how much they'd be willing to gamble in one shot. The survey didn't examine customer income levels to learn the demographics of likely $50 players, and it didn't examine how the games might affect problem gamblers.

"Scratch-off tickets are an impulse purchase and $50 is a lot of money for the state to have its citizens wager on an impulse," said Rob Kohler, a lobbyist for the Christian Life Commission, an arm of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, which opposes gambling.

Robert Heith, a spokesman for the Texas Lottery Commission, said the agency has one overriding mission: "What we do is run a business for the state of Texas. ... We have to produce products that our players want to purchase."

William Scott, 64, a custodian in Austin who works two jobs and said he often spends $120 a day on lottery games, is eager to try his luck on the $50 game. "I play all of them."

Serious Scratch

Some facts and figures from the Texas Lottery Commission's new $50 scratch-off game, called "$130 Million Spectacular."

  • Total prizes: $134 million
  • Number of prizes worth at least $1 million: 9
  • Number of prizes worth at least $1,000: 5,700

Odds of winning

$5 million 1 in 1.2 million 
$1 million 1 in 618,000 
$50,000 1 in 185,000 
$1,000 1 in 866 
$500 1 in 300 
$100 1 in 20 
$50 1 in 6.7 
  • Odds of playing the game and losing: 63%
  • Odds of playing and either breaking even or losing: 77%

Other big scratch-off games introduced in Texas

  • 2002: $20 Holiday Million
  • 2004: $25 Run The Table
  • 2004: $30 Holiday Millions Wishes

Houston Chronicle

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31 comments. Last comment 7 years ago by KY Floyd.
Page 1 of 3
TGOOD7's avatar - Lottery-057.jpg
HOUSTON
United States
Member #36807
April 7, 2006
37 Posts
Offline
Posted: May 7, 2007, 7:56 am - IP Logged

Once, the biggest dreams in Texas only cost a buck.

Now, Texas Lottery officials are upping the ante on instant miracles to $50.

That's the price of the state's newest scratch-off game, dubbed $130 Million Spectacular, which goes on sale Monday and offers nearly $134 million in prizes, including three grand prizes of $5 million.

A $50 game is the highest price for a scratch-off in the nation, according to lottery data. Kansas introduced the first $50 ticket two years ago and Michigan also will launch one on Monday. Compare that to California, where the most expensive scratch-off ticket is $5. In New York, it's $20.

Officials in Texas evidently believe their new game will do well; they're printing 3.7 million of the $50 tickets and are planning to soon introduce a second $50 game.

Keith Whyte, executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling, said the introduction of higher-priced games reflected an arms race among states for gambling dollars.

After Texas voters approved the creation of the state lottery, tickets for the agency's first game - a scratch-off called Lone Star Millions - sold for $1 apiece. Players now choose among online games and 80 or so popular scratch-offs, which have become the agency's meat and potatoes, generating $2.8 billion in sales last year.

The agency offered its first $3 scratch-off in 1997. By 2000, it had a $10 game; a $20 game in 2002 and a $30 game in 2004. Last year, $1 scratch-off tickets accounted for just 11 percent of all scratch-off sales, while nearly a third came from tickets priced between $10 and $30.

The $50 game comes with a 63 percent chance of losing.

Those odds won't deter Mike Swain, 44, a driver for a moving company who picked up $4 worth of scratch-offs in East Austin this week.

"I'll try it. I definitely could try it once. Sometimes I have $50 extra," he said.

Swain, who estimates taking home between $1,800 and $2,000 a month, said he plays scratch-off games daily, plopping down $4 to $6 at a time.

Gerald Busald, a math professor at San Antonio College who analyzes lottery practices, had this advice for those itching to wager 50 bucks on a single ticket: Don't.

"You can have the same dream for $1 that you can for $20 or $30 or $50," he said. "You're not going to win."

Of course, it's the exceptions that fuel the dreams that last year pulled in a cool $3.8 billion from all the Texas lottery games. If all tickets to the new game were sold, state coffers would net $51 million after the commission pays out $134 million in prizes.

Before launching the $50 game, the Lottery Commission surveyed frequent scratch-off players to find out how much they'd be willing to gamble in one shot. The survey didn't examine customer income levels to learn the demographics of likely $50 players, and it didn't examine how the games might affect problem gamblers.

"Scratch-off tickets are an impulse purchase and $50 is a lot of money for the state to have its citizens wager on an impulse," said Rob Kohler, a lobbyist for the Christian Life Commission, an arm of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, which opposes gambling.

Robert Heith, a spokesman for the Texas Lottery Commission, said the agency has one overriding mission: "What we do is run a business for the state of Texas. ... We have to produce products that our players want to purchase."

William Scott, 64, a custodian in Austin who works two jobs and said he often spends $120 a day on lottery games, is eager to try his luck on the $50 game. "I play all of them."

Serious Scratch

Some facts and figures from the Texas Lottery Commission's new $50 scratch-off game, called "$130 Million Spectacular."

  • Total prizes: $134 million
  • Number of prizes worth at least $1 million: 9
  • Number of prizes worth at least $1,000: 5,700

Odds of winning

$5 million 1 in 1.2 million 
$1 million 1 in 618,000 
$50,000 1 in 185,000 
$1,000 1 in 866 
$500 1 in 300 
$100 1 in 20 
$50 1 in 6.7 
  • Odds of playing the game and losing: 63%
  • Odds of playing and either breaking even or losing: 77%

Other big scratch-off games introduced in Texas

  • 2002: $20 Holiday Million
  • 2004: $25 Run The Table
  • 2004: $30 Holiday Millions Wishes

Very $high$,I'LL buy one just to try my luck,you never know.

    cv844's avatar - Lottery-049.jpg
    texas
    United States
    Member #4689
    May 17, 2004
    4121 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: May 7, 2007, 8:02 am - IP Logged

    Very $high$,I'LL buy one just to try my luck,you never know.

    Good luck, I will only buy one if I win some money first lol.

      Avatar
      Coastal Georgia
      United States
      Member #2653
      October 30, 2003
      1866 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: May 7, 2007, 8:45 am - IP Logged

      Now the race is on for the nation's first $100.00 instant game..

      Why not- there are $100.00 slot machines....

       

                                     

                    

       

       

        Kidzmom's avatar - cold
        NC
        United States
        Member #11741
        February 23, 2005
        1232 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: May 7, 2007, 10:02 am - IP Logged

        WOW!

          justxploring's avatar - villiarna
          Wandering Aimlessly
          United States
          Member #25360
          November 5, 2005
          4457 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: May 7, 2007, 10:24 am - IP Logged

          Odds of winning

          $5 million 1 in 1.2 million 
          $1 million 1 in 618,000 
          $50,000 1 in 185,000 
          $1,000 1 in 866 
          $500 1 in 300 
          $100 1 in 20 
          $50 1 in 6.7 

          When I was growing up, we had an expression...."One in a million" which meant nearly impossible.

          The lottery seems to have changed all that, since people obviously feel those odds are very good, and they certainly are compared to PB & MM and most state games.  After all, I've been playing a 1 in 23M and a 1 in 3M game for years and haven't won yet. 

          However, how many people on this board spent $20 or more for raffle tickets this year?  I know people who bought 10 of them and didn't win anything and the odds were very similar to this $50 scratch game. That being said, if I lived in Texas and had the "extra" money, maybe I would take a shot at it, hope for the top prize, be ecstatic if I won the second prize and very happy if I won the third prize. But I usually don't buy scratch tickets anyway.

        • Number of prizes worth at least $1 million: 9
        • Number of prizes worth at least $1,000: 5,700
        • I prefer this example.  (more realistic) Looking it this way makes the chances seem a lot more bleak.  There are over 23 million people living in Texas.  I realize that includes children and people who never play, but it doesn't include the "undocumented" who also buy tickets or people from border states who play.  So let's say even half of the population is eligible to buy tickets.  Why would you be the one of the 9 lucky winners?  

            Avatar

            United States
            Member #34266
            March 1, 2006
            188 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: May 7, 2007, 10:46 am - IP Logged

            Instead of the states providing 50 dollar lottery tickets, how about stimulating job growth and encouraging business to expand and provide real income making opportunities.

              Avatar
              New Member

              United States
              Member #5121
              June 18, 2004
              10 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: May 7, 2007, 11:17 am - IP Logged

              Back in the day here In PA  with the $20 dollar ticket you were gaurenteed some type of win on the ticket. Five etc...   Is this the case here?  $50 bucks is alot to drop all at once, be nice to get even a spit!!!!

                bobby623's avatar - abstract
                San Angelo, Texas
                United States
                Member #1097
                January 31, 2003
                1107 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: May 7, 2007, 12:38 pm - IP Logged

                Go to www.txlottery.org, front page, to see copy of the ticket and game details.

                  RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
                  mid-Ohio
                  United States
                  Member #9
                  March 24, 2001
                  17841 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: May 7, 2007, 2:28 pm - IP Logged

                  I would suspect that they might put at least a $2 winner on each tickets so no one would feel like a $50 loser(sucker), that way it would really be a $48 scratch-off tickets and the $48 losers wouldn't feel so bad about losing.

                  * you don't need more tickets, just the right ticket * 
                  * your best chance to win a lottery jackpot is to buy a ticket * 
                      Wink 

                    Avatar
                    Coastal Georgia
                    United States
                    Member #2653
                    October 30, 2003
                    1866 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: May 7, 2007, 3:00 pm - IP Logged

                    I would suspect that they might put at least a $2 winner on each tickets so no one would feel like a $50 loser(sucker), that way it would really be a $48 scratch-off tickets and the $48 losers wouldn't feel so bad about losing.

                    I doubt it would only be $2, RJOh.

                    The smallest 'win" I have seen on the $20 GA ticket is $20.

                    At the very least, one can get their original investment back, or at least I hope so.....

                     

                                                   

                                  

                     

                     

                      Avatar
                      Amarillo/Austin
                      United States
                      Member #1424
                      April 25, 2003
                      696 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: May 7, 2007, 3:03 pm - IP Logged

                      That's 50 times what I would be willing to spend!

                      Orangeman

                      Thinking of...

                        DoctorEw220's avatar - alien helmet.jpg
                        Yinzer Country, PA
                        United States
                        Member #4067
                        March 18, 2004
                        2733 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: May 7, 2007, 5:18 pm - IP Logged

                        I never thought I would say this, but I agree with the Christian group.  $50 is way too much to spend on a single ticket.  Think about what you would tell your family if you were to buy one of them and lose.

                        I've redone my website.  Go to www.dr-ew.com.  I kept a lot of the old stuff, and I've added some new stuff.  Look for more new stuff in the coming weeks.

                          Avatar

                          Honduras
                          Member #20982
                          August 29, 2005
                          4715 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: May 7, 2007, 6:00 pm - IP Logged

                          The most i am willing to spend on a scratcher is 10 dollars and that's if the jackpot is 200+ millions....

                          Which is what i think they should do..If they are going to charge 50 dollars the jackpot better be 800+ million dollars....

                           

                           

                          "The Truth is Out There....."                            from movie "The X-Files"

                            RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
                            mid-Ohio
                            United States
                            Member #9
                            March 24, 2001
                            17841 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: May 7, 2007, 6:29 pm - IP Logged

                            Sounds like these lottery tickets would be excellent candidates for a lottery pool investment.  It's not unusual for players to form a lottery pool to buy $50 worth of lottery tickets.

                            * you don't need more tickets, just the right ticket * 
                            * your best chance to win a lottery jackpot is to buy a ticket * 
                                Wink