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Players snapping up Mass. Lottery's new $30 tickets

Massachusetts LotteryMassachusetts Lottery: Players snapping up Mass. Lottery's new $30 tickets
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The Massachusetts State Lottery, following the lead of a handful of other states, has rolled out new scratch tickets at a significantly higher price — $30 a pop — saying there is a market for more costly games with the chance of bigger winnings.

Since the new game was launched last Tuesday, bettors have snapped up more than $8 million in tickets, hoping to win one of the four $15 million instant jackpots or at least take home one of the 36 $1 million prizes. Dina William, who, along with her husband owns a 7-Eleven in Gloucester, said the convenience store sold a book of 50 tickets last week in less than 24 hours.

"The prizes are very, very interesting for customers," said William, adding that the new scratch tickets are also selling briskly at her other Gloucester business, Good Harbor Liquors. The game also has smaller payouts starting at $30.

The chance of winning a prize is about 1 in 3, higher than any previous lottery game in the state. But with 25.2 million tickets printed, the chances of winning one of the four top prizes is 1 in 6.3 million.

The higher-stakes game, however, is raising concerns among those who treat gambling compulsions. They say that scratch tickets are among the leading causes of compulsive gambling.

"The number one way people gamble who call our help line is scratch tickets," said Marlene Warner, executive director of the Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling. "This feeds into their need for more excitement, for more of a chance for that big win they are searching for. And some of these folks will have the funds and some will not."

The decision to create the new game was made after market research suggested the demand was there, lottery executive director Beth Bresnahan said. The state's $20 scratch tickets — previously the highest priced — have proved very popular, she said. Those tickets accounted for 22 percent of total instant game sales in fiscal 2013, according to the lottery.

Other states have had success with $30 tickets, Bresnahan said, including Connecticut, which introduced the nation's first $30 scratch ticket in 2002. Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin have all released $30 scratch tickets in recent months. Texas has the nation's highest-priced scratch ticket at $50.

"The marketplace was asking for and ready for a new introduction, one with bigger prizes and bigger payouts," Bresnahan said. "Higher-price-point tickets generate more money."

Scratch tickets, first introduced in the state in 1974, are at the heart of the state lottery, consistently generating more than two-thirds of the system's annual revenue. The lottery's profits — $956 million in fiscal 2013 — are distributed as local aid to the state's cities and towns.

The state has steadily added higher-priced games over the years, introducing the $5 scratch ticket in 1992, the $10 in 1999, and the $20 ticket, with a top prize of $10 million, in 2007. Even though the lottery generated a record $3.3 billion in sales last year, officials decided to introduce the $30 game — with bigger jackpots — as a way to keep players interested.

The lottery says that a small proportion of players have problems with gambling addiction, but it works with the Council on Compulsive Gambling to help people find and access appropriate services.

Other critics say that lotteries depend heavily on lower-income players to buy tickets, making it a regressive way to raise revenues. Adding higher-price tickets will only put a further squeeze on the budgets of these households.

"There are strong arguments that we wouldn't want to encourage people to spend more on gambling, " said Noah Berger, president of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, a think tank in Boston.

It is too early to know whether the pricey new game will be a success for the lottery, but Bresnahan said that many retailers are requesting tickets and the general buzz indicates significant interest among players.

That makes it likely that the lottery will introduce additional $30 games each April, she said.

Some regular scratch ticket players, however, do not see the appeal of such an expensive game. Patricia Graham, 66, of North Reading, buys two $5 scratch tickets every week, but said even the possibility of a huge payout does not compensate for the long odds.

"There's no way I'd ever buy one," she said.

Boston Globe

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18 comments. Last comment 5 months ago by Jon D.
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Marilyn222's avatar - 1975203 678005355574080_1381926342_n.jpg
Denver
United States
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October 12, 2011
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Posted: April 29, 2014, 9:15 am - IP Logged

Wow! Todd slow down...I'm not done reading the first news yet...heheheh

Anyways, I think ppl does not want to wait for PB/MM jp's no more. They prefer to win instantaneous, on the spot!  Accompanied by sweat...lol that's the thrill of it!

    lottolaughs's avatar - avatar 3824.gif
    California
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    May 31, 2006
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    Posted: April 29, 2014, 9:28 am - IP Logged

    When they first introduced $3.00 tickets I thought that was a rip. Can't ever imagine spending this kind of money for a scratchoff but I know people do and will. Insanity.

      Jon D's avatar - calotterylogo
      Los Angeles, California
      United States
      Member #103816
      January 5, 2011
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      Posted: April 29, 2014, 9:29 am - IP Logged

      And I'm sure this *disease* of higher and higher priced scratch games will continue to spread, and eventually make its way to California.(we are usually a few years behind on lottery innovations)

      The decision to create the new game was made after market research suggested the demand was there

      There is a demand for heroin too, does that mean the government should be selling it? Eek

        RedStang's avatar - G2KJbzeUFyjr4GmicmunEJy5iTZz3l2CDOwbyt19Ew Qt9DyBhHUBpfgru-YDU9irpo=h900
        Dutchess NY
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        Posted: April 29, 2014, 10:05 am - IP Logged

        These $30 are horrible. Got a few in CT and they all lost. You're better off with 3 $10 tics.

          wizeguy's avatar - animaniacs04

          United States
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          May 10, 2005
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          Posted: April 29, 2014, 10:27 am - IP Logged

          I bought 2 of the $30 tickets in Ohio. One the first day of issue and the 2nd a few weeks later. I didn't win a thing! Each ticket only had $15 entertainment value to me which meant $15 disappointment on each.

           

          I rarely buy scratchers but when I do it's the higher value ones so I can't readily say I'd never buy another $30 ticket.

           

          Good luck to all on these higher priced scratchers !! The higher prizes are enticing.

            Avatar
            New York, NY
            United States
            Member #13514
            April 7, 2005
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            Posted: April 29, 2014, 11:21 am - IP Logged

            Interesting.  Guess people are willing to take the chance.  It's not something I'm willing to do though.

              LottoMetro's avatar - Lottery-024.jpg
              Happyland
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              September 1, 2013
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              Posted: April 29, 2014, 12:08 pm - IP Logged

              These $30 are horrible. Got a few in CT and they all lost. You're better off with 3 $10 tics.

              If you had won, would they still be horrible? Wink

              Reminds me of a time I went to the casino...patrons grumbling how tight the slots were, etc. I hit by the second pull on 3 different machines. LOL

              I like the higher priced tickets but I also don't lose on them very often. If I lost a lot I probably would hate them too.

              If the chances of winning the jackpot are so slim, why play when the jackpot is so small? Your chances never change, but the payoff does.

              If a crystal ball showed you the future of the rest of your life, and in that future you will never win a jackpot, would you still play?

              2013: -35.14% (158 tickets) || 2014: +20.00% (13 tickets)

                IPlayWeekly's avatar - avatarmoney
                Columbus, Ohio
                United States
                Member #128911
                June 5, 2012
                429 Posts
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                Posted: April 29, 2014, 2:30 pm - IP Logged

                It's a sign of the times, people are tired and desperate

                  maringoman's avatar - kobold
                  Massachusetts
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                  April 14, 2006
                  2029 Posts
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                  Posted: April 29, 2014, 5:30 pm - IP Logged

                  It's a sign of the times, people are tired and desperate

                  Desperation is a bad thing. It makes people send thousands of dollars to a Nigerian Prince to free up his fortunes in exchange for a share of the fortune. Nah I wouldn't buy this ticket. I'd be mad if someone gave it to me for free and I scratched it and it was a loser LOL

                  It's a futile effort.

                    Gleno's avatar - Lottery-001.jpg
                    New Jersey
                    United States
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                    September 25, 2009
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                    Posted: April 29, 2014, 5:48 pm - IP Logged

                    If you have money to burn then this is your game.  The State of Mass has hit

                    the right  nerve among it's "big time"  players. 

                     

                    Coffee

                      Jon D's avatar - calotterylogo
                      Los Angeles, California
                      United States
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                      January 5, 2011
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                      Posted: April 29, 2014, 6:31 pm - IP Logged

                      If you had won, would they still be horrible? Wink

                      Reminds me of a time I went to the casino...patrons grumbling how tight the slots were, etc. I hit by the second pull on 3 different machines. LOL

                      I like the higher priced tickets but I also don't lose on them very often. If I lost a lot I probably would hate them too.

                      There's no need for you to ridicule RedStang who was just giving his opinion and experience. Thumbs Down

                      And rubbing your good fortune in someone's face LottoMetro.... No No That's not only bad etiquette and bad karma, it's also extremely bad manners. But I wouldn't expect someone like you who admits lacking social skills to understand good manners. Wink

                        RedStang's avatar - G2KJbzeUFyjr4GmicmunEJy5iTZz3l2CDOwbyt19Ew Qt9DyBhHUBpfgru-YDU9irpo=h900
                        Dutchess NY
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                        Posted: April 30, 2014, 1:10 am - IP Logged

                        If you had won, would they still be horrible? Wink

                        Reminds me of a time I went to the casino...patrons grumbling how tight the slots were, etc. I hit by the second pull on 3 different machines. LOL

                        I like the higher priced tickets but I also don't lose on them very often. If I lost a lot I probably would hate them too.

                        If you had won, would they still be horrible?

                        Yes they would still be horrible because your probably only going to win the $30 back and you can win that with a $5 ticket.

                          Technics's avatar - technyc1
                          USA
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                          September 24, 2009
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                          Posted: April 30, 2014, 3:18 am - IP Logged

                          They are taking advantage of people impulsiveness.....$100 tickets on the way soon. Skeptical

                            hearsetrax's avatar - 78638c467ef281febf24383e126f74b6

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                            May 21, 2007
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                            Posted: April 30, 2014, 9:39 am - IP Logged

                            They are taking advantage of people impulsiveness.....$100 tickets on the way soon. Skeptical

                            of that I have no doubt Roll Eyes