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Florida Lottery set to roll out changes

Florida LotteryFlorida Lottery: Florida Lottery set to roll out changes

The Florida Lottery will implement a series of changes January 31, including new lottery machines, changes to the Pick 4 game, and new game called Grouper.

The new game Grouper is really a new way to play Florida lottery games, rather than being a new game itself.  When players purchase a Grouper ticket, they pay $5 for quick picks of five existing games and get a sixth quick pick -- for free -- of a randomly selected game.

On the same day Grouper sales begin, lottery retailers throughout the state will start using new computer terminals. Many stores have had the new terminals for weeks, sitting side-by-side on their counters with the current lottery computers.

It is the first big change in the Florida Lottery since the state overhauled its Mega Money game about a year ago, changing the format to create larger jackpots but making it easier to win smaller prizes. Fantasy 5 was overhauled in 2001, awarding a free quick pick for matching two of the five numbers drawn.

Free tickets have been given in the past, but only as an award in a drawn game rather than as an incentive to play the game.

In addition to Grouper, there will be more ways to win at Play 4, and online tickets will be printed on thermal paper, similar to the receipt at a gas pump, only better quality and wider.

Changes are needed to keep interest in the games high, a lottery official said.

"We're a business," said spokeswoman Leslie D. Steele. "We need to have fresh and new ideas to keep our players happy."

Online sales totaled $1.712 billion in the fiscal year ending June 30, down slightly from a record $1.794 billion the previous year, lottery spokesman Alfred Bea said.

The highest Lotto jackpot in fiscal 2004 was $75 million, he said, compared with a $100 million jackpot during the record year. "That really does rev up the excitement and the interest," Bea said.

The state has promised retailers an advertising blitz to promote Grouper and will double the commission paid to retailers to 60 cents a ticket for the first three months Grouper is available.

All numbers on a Grouper ticket will be picked by the lottery's computer. The ticket will include one play each in the Lotto, Fantasy 5, Mega Money, Cash 3 and Play 4 games. The computer will randomly select from the Lotto, Fantasy 5 and Mega Money for the free sixth play.

Play slips for the five online games also will have a new look, including the addition of five more play panels -- for a total of 10 -- for the Lotto and Fantasy 5. And players can select a Grouper ticket from the play slips of every online game. Players can continue to use their old play slips even when the new terminals come online.

The Florida Lottery began online games April 29, 1988, and has added games and tweaked the existing ones over the years.

The new computer terminals are being installed by GTECH Holdings, a Rhode Island company that provides services and equipment to lotteries in 30 states as well as for 50 international lotteries. GTECH has a six-year contract with the Florida Lottery and receives 1 percent of sales, or almost $20 million a year, Bea said.

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7 comments. Last comment 12 years ago by CASH Only.
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United States
Member #1826
July 11, 2003
2645 Posts
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Posted: January 24, 2005, 5:50 pm - IP Logged

They still have a long way to catch up to America's elite lotteries (multi-state games, midday drawings).

(insert signature here)


    United States
    Member #379
    June 5, 2002
    11296 Posts
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    Posted: January 24, 2005, 6:01 pm - IP Logged

    How would FL change its Pick 4 (to be like NM's 4 This Way)?

      DoctorEw220's avatar - alien helmet.jpg
      Yinzer Country, PA
      United States
      Member #4067
      March 18, 2004
      2741 Posts
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      Posted: January 24, 2005, 6:11 pm - IP Logged

      could be, or they may change to a pari-mutuel prize payout.

      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.

        DoctorEw220's avatar - alien helmet.jpg
        Yinzer Country, PA
        United States
        Member #4067
        March 18, 2004
        2741 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: January 24, 2005, 6:11 pm - IP Logged

        or they could be adding mid-day draws.

        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.

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          United States
          Member #1826
          July 11, 2003
          2645 Posts
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          Posted: January 24, 2005, 6:23 pm - IP Logged
          Quote: Originally posted by CASH Only on January 24, 2005

          How would FL change its Pick 4 (to be like NM's 4 This Way)?






          They're probably going to add a Straight/Box and Combo option (they only have Straight and Box right now).

          (insert signature here)

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            New Member
            Mobile, AL
            United States
            Member #10751
            January 24, 2005
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            Posted: January 24, 2005, 7:28 pm - IP Logged

            Sounds like a "gimmick" to boost sales in the slumping Mega Money, Lotto, Play 4

            etc. Fantasy 5/36  is by far the best game going!


              United States
              Member #379
              June 5, 2002
              11296 Posts
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              Posted: January 24, 2005, 7:30 pm - IP Logged

              Mega Money IMO should have remained cash (no annuity jackpot).