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Wyoming Lottery might launch ticket sales by April

Wyoming LotteryWyoming Lottery: Wyoming Lottery might launch ticket sales by April
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More than 2 decades in the making

Risk-takers from Wyoming crossed the Colorado border with hopes of becoming rich in mid-December.

The jackpot for the Mega Millions lottery game was nearing $400 million.

Residents from Cheyenne, Casper, Rawlins and Rock Springs, among other cities and town, funneled into the Borderline Cantina to buy tickets.

"We had a busy morning," store manager Karen Martin said recently.

The Borderline Cantina and one other convenience store sit a few miles south of the Wyoming border on U.S. Highway 85.

The stores sell more lottery tickets than any other vendor in Colorado.

That may change in 2014.

For years Wyoming lawmakers lamented the lost revenues that hopeful border crossers pumped into the Colorado economy by purchasing lottery tickets. But with the passage of the Wyoming Lottery bill in February, lawmakers and lottery officials are hoping to steer the lost revenues into the coffers of the Cowboy State when tickets begin to be sold in mid-2014.

Wyoming will sell its own draw games and participate in the multistate Powerball and Mega Millions games.

It won't sell scratch-off tickets.

The new lottery is expected to take a toll on Colorado Lottery sales. Some Wyomingites who currently travel south to play the lottery have pledged their allegiance to the Borderline Cantina, Martin said.

"We're not sure how it's going to affect us yet," she said.

State officials are hopeful the lottery will raise about $20 million per year. A guaranteed $6 million of the earnings will funnel to local governments.

It was no easy task to implement the lottery in Wyoming.

Legislative attempts to establish one had proved fruitless since 1989.

But a bill pushed by Rep. David Zwonitzer, R-Cheyenne, passed the House by an eight-vote margin in February.

It passed by three votes in the Senate.

"There was a lot of scrambling and last-minute concessions to get it passed," Zwonitzer said.

Gov. Matt Mead appointed a lottery board when the bill became law on July 1. The nine-person board began building the corporation days later. It's a mix of marketing, media, legal, security, financial and business experts.

They secured a $1 million loan, hired a CEO, found office space, vetted gaming vendors and spent a lot of pro bono time doing work in addition to their day jobs. They didn't spend one dollar of state funds to build the lottery.

"It is a full-time job on top of a full-time job," board chairman Brian Scott Gamroth said.

Tennessee Lottery CEO Rebecca Hargrove gave board members a rude awakening when she visited them in July.

She told them they would need to have weekly meetings and phone conferences in the first months of development.

The board members' jaws dropped.

Initially it was overwhelming, said Erin Taylor, a member of the Wyoming Lottery Board.

"But then the board broke it down into a timeline," she said. "It was week by week, then it became every few weeks, then every month."

At the time no member knew anything about a lottery. But Hargrove and other lottery officials from around the nation gave them advice.

After months of meetings, teleconferences and trips around the state, board members built the lottery from the ground up. They picked former Oregon Lottery executive Jon Clontz as the Wyoming Lottery's CEO.

(See Wyoming Lottery hires Oregon Lottery official as CEO, Lottery Post, Sept. 24, 2013.)

The choice was a milestone for the board. It meant they could begin handing off duties to Clontz. It also meant they were one step closer to getting tickets into the hands of Wyomingites.

Clontz is a fastidious man who formerly served as an Army surveillance systems operator during the end of the Cold War. Before joining the Oregon Lottery he worked in the private sector and as an official for the Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington.

The big question he faced when coming on board with the Wyoming Lottery was: When will tickets start selling in Wyoming?

Clontz has made no promises about a launch date, but he has compiled a detailed implementation schedule through April.

He is in the process of choosing a lottery vendor, a company that will furnish convenience stores and other retailers with lottery tickets.

Three companies are vying to do business with Wyoming, one of the last states likely to launch a lottery. Clontz expects to choose a company by February.

Clontz recently selected the Cheyenne design firm Warehouse 21 to create a lottery logo.

He's still searching for a Web designer to design the website.

As Clontz recently sat in his downtown Cheyenne office overlooking the Lincoln Theater and Elks 660 Lodge, he was upbeat about the timeline for getting the lottery off the ground.

"We're three weeks ahead of schedule," he said.

Billings Gazette

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9 comments. Last comment 7 months ago by Gambler4Life.
Page 1 of 1
RedStang's avatar - 55CHEVYCustom zpsff17f2e3.jpg
Dutchess , NY
United States
Member #121966
January 21, 2012
2589 Posts
Offline
Posted: December 24, 2013, 10:16 am - IP Logged

At the time no member knew anything about a lottery. But Hargrove and other lottery officials from around the nation gave them advice.

They should of called 1-800-Todd or just visited LP for all their questions. 

    dallascowboyfan's avatar - tiana the-princess-and-the-frog.jpg
    Oklahoma
    United States
    Member #82391
    November 12, 2009
    5273 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: December 24, 2013, 6:21 pm - IP Logged

    Getting closer WyomingThumbs Up

    I Love Pink & Green 1908

      rdgrnr's avatar - walt
      -Ridge Runner- Oracle of the Appalachians
      Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
      United States
      Member #73904
      April 28, 2009
      14903 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: December 26, 2013, 12:44 pm - IP Logged

      The Dragon Lady went there to pose for pictures with Dick Cheney for the first Wyoming Scratch Ticket.

      It's going to be a $13 Ticket called Cheney and The Dragon.

      The ticket shows Dick Cheney snarling while the laughing, fire-breathing Dragon Lady holds a microwave oven up against his pacemaker.

      I think they might need help with their marketing.

        Hermanus104's avatar - 5027340606 1e360c8038_s.jpg
        Northern Virginia
        United States
        Member #83350
        December 5, 2009
        1216 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: December 26, 2013, 3:49 pm - IP Logged

        I hope that they have a daily numbers game!

        Today's winning 3-ball is going to be a number between 000 and 999.

        In a lot of states, lotteries benefit education. That makes the REAL winners the only people who can't play!

          helpmewin's avatar - dandy
          u$a
          United States
          Member #106669
          February 22, 2011
          17060 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: December 28, 2013, 10:16 am - IP Logged

          I hope that they have a daily numbers game!

          I Agree! that will be good

                           

            helpmewin's avatar - dandy
            u$a
            United States
            Member #106669
            February 22, 2011
            17060 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: December 28, 2013, 10:16 am - IP Logged

            Getting closer WyomingThumbs Up

            I Agree!

                             

              Avatar
              New Member
              Laramie Wyoming
              United States
              Member #139430
              February 22, 2013
              4 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: January 12, 2014, 10:04 pm - IP Logged

              the Wyoming Lottery Corporation is telling us we might be able to buy Powerball and Mega Million tickets as early as June this year but no later than October this year....gonna be nice to be able to run to the local convenience store to get Powerball and Mega Million tickets instead of driving to Colorado or Nebraska to get lottery tickets...gonna save on the gas too

                Avatar
                Texas
                United States
                Member #132460
                September 4, 2012
                483 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: January 19, 2014, 2:51 am - IP Logged

                "State officials are hopeful the lottery will raise about $20 million per year. A guaranteed $6 million of the earnings will funnel to local governments."

                -well that's a lot, if this lottery will take place smoothly the economy of that place will surely rise dramatically. Well that's a potential good news. 

                  Gambler4Life's avatar - Lottery-011.jpg
                  New Member
                  Texas
                  United States
                  Member #151489
                  January 18, 2014
                  20 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: January 19, 2014, 2:43 pm - IP Logged

                  I'm glad Wyoming has joined the Pick 3 and Pick 4 state lotteries!  Will Texas get a "zip code" Pick 5 like Georgia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Washington, DC?