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S.C. Lottery may learn lessons from Georgia

South Carolina LotterySouth Carolina Lottery: S.C. Lottery may learn lessons from Georgia

As North Carolina inches closer to starting a lottery, Georgia lottery officials may be enjoying a sense of irony, as South Carolina is now undergoing the same uncomfortable feeling that they created for the Georgia Lottery when they started the S.C. Education Lottery in 2002.

At the time, South Carolina politicians estimated that a Palmetto State lottery would siphon away up to $112 million from Georgia's lottery.

But those predictions never came to pass.

Instead, Georgia has enjoyed a string of record-setting years since South Carolina began selling lottery tickets in 2002.

Now South Carolina faces the possibility of losing up to $150 million a year in lottery sales if North Carolina starts competing for the money of Carolinas lottery players.

What's South Carolina to do?

It could look to what Georgia did to fend off the S.C. lottery.

Advertise more. And offer more games.

Even then, S.C. lottery director Ernie Passailaigue says, the threat to South Carolina's lottery from North Carolina games would be more dire than what Georgia faced when the Palmetto State started its lottery.

"What has Georgia got on its border (with South Carolina)? North Augusta," Passailaigue said. "I've got Charlotte-Mecklenburg (on the S.C.-N.C. border), which is like another state in itself."

More Ads, Games

Georgia officials won't say what their strategy was in fending off the threat South Carolina's lottery posed.

Spokeswoman Tandi Reddick said the Georgia Lottery's goal was to "simply try and provide fun and entertaining games." Reddick said she did not know how many players Georgia may have lost to South Carolina.

But Passailaigue says it's no secret how Georgia staved off South Carolina — by using its $20 million advertising budget, which is almost three times as large as the amount the S.C. lottery spends on ads.

Advertising is crucial, lottery officials say. They estimate every $1 spent on advertising could translate into as much as $140 in sales.

"They're very aggressive with advertising, and their main goal is to increase revenue; ours isn't," Passailaigue said of the Georgia lottery.

S.C. law restricts how much the Palmetto State lottery can spend on ads. Advertising is limited to 1 percent of income, or $7.7 million last year. State law also limits how the S.C. games can be marketed.

Georgia places fewer restrictions on how its games can be marketed and the types of games it can offer. For instance, Georgia sells keno tickets, a game similar to bingo.

In 2002, the year South Carolina began selling tickets, Georgia also joined eight other states and became part of the Mega Millions drawing. Just like the multi-state Powerball drawing that South Carolina belongs to, Mega Millions' large jackpots attract more lottery players.

Georgia's sales have increased steadily since its lottery was started in 1993. Sales have dipped in only one year — 2001, when they dropped about $120 million.

Georgia's steadily increasing lottery sales are unusual. State lotteries generally hit a sales plateau after a few years of operation. But, in February, Georgia Lottery officials said they expect another record year in 2005.

In 2004, the Georgia lottery generated about $2.7 billion in income compared with South Carolina's $953 million.

'Huge Sucking Sound'

Another reason Georgia has not suffered from the creation of the S.C. lottery is that some Palmetto State residents play the numbers in both states.

Greg's Gas Plus on West Martintown Road in North Augusta draws players from Georgia and South Carolina. Some players there say they prefer the Georgia Lottery for reasons both real and perceived.

Jack Leverett Jr., a cashier at Gas Plus, said players like that Georgia has more centers to claim prizes. Georgia also prints multiple lottery picks on separate tickets rather than on one ticket, as South Carolina does.

Some players interviewed at the Gas Plus also believe the odds of winning the Georgia Lottery are better than winning the South Carolina lottery, although none had proof. (The odds vary according to the game.)

S.C. officials say they won't know exactly how to respond to a North Carolina lottery until one is approved. The North Carolina Legislature is still trying to hammer out a compromise that would bring a lottery to that state.

For South Carolina, the worst-case scenario is legislation that opens North Carolina to different games and imposes few advertising restrictions.

"If they get video lottery and keno, you're going to hear a huge sucking sound from this state," Passailaigue said.

Lottery Post Staff and The State

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9 comments. Last comment 12 years ago by Tnplayer805.
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United States
Member #1826
July 11, 2003
2645 Posts
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Posted: May 10, 2005, 12:30 pm - IP Logged

I'm sure Lotto South will be first on the new games docket.

(insert signature here)

    LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
    Tennessee
    United States
    Member #7853
    October 15, 2004
    11338 Posts
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    Posted: May 10, 2005, 1:59 pm - IP Logged

    the only lesson they need to learn would be how to make plenty of profit.

      Tnplayer805's avatar - G 14_v78828750_Small.JPG
      North Dakota
      United States
      Member #13397
      April 5, 2005
      1623 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: May 10, 2005, 4:29 pm - IP Logged

      Is TN worried about NC lottery?  Nope!  They always have Alabama, Arkansas, and Mississippi to rely on.  Whenever it come to powerball we have all the states around us except KY and MO.

      How are you going to win if you don't play?

        Avatar
        Coastal Georgia
        United States
        Member #2653
        October 30, 2003
        1866 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: May 10, 2005, 6:36 pm - IP Logged

        That thud you might hear is SC lotto officials seeing their money "stay" in NC and Ga ?

        Maybe........ I live near SC and play Powerball when the Pot is big( like now ), but I admit I never even glance at their other games.

        Right now, I am working the GA Fantasy 5 real hard, but I suspect the days of the huge jackpots( 700,000-1,000,000) are over since they started awarding one quick pick for matching 2 of 5 numbers. This enables more people to jump right back in and "dilute" the large pots. Good on one hand- more small winners, bad on another- very few large ones on a pick 5.

         

        DD

         

                                       

                      

         

         

          Tnplayer805's avatar - G 14_v78828750_Small.JPG
          North Dakota
          United States
          Member #13397
          April 5, 2005
          1623 Posts
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          Posted: May 10, 2005, 9:25 pm - IP Logged

          It will be like KY and TN. Ky sales dropped a lot after TN started up last year.  Their powerball sales were hit the hardest.  KY and MO fought to keep TN from getting powerball but as we can see TN won that battle.  KY's lottery is doing ok.  IN,WV, and some IL player cross the border.  IN and WV for lotto south.  IL for lotto south and Powerball. 

          Also TN has a better selection of Instant Tickets if you ask me.  Better odds and more top prizes.  KY I think will see some changes on that part in the future. 

          How are you going to win if you don't play?

            Ladyluck2005's avatar - underground
            Denver, CO
            United States
            Member #13465
            April 6, 2005
            68 Posts
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            Posted: May 11, 2005, 5:57 pm - IP Logged

            I'll still play SC if NC picks to play Mega Millions.  I live like 5 miles or so from the boarder so its not far to drive.  There will be loooong lines when NC gets a lottery....but there will also be LOTS of protesters at the places that do sell tickets....it'll be interesting.

              Tnplayer805's avatar - G 14_v78828750_Small.JPG
              North Dakota
              United States
              Member #13397
              April 5, 2005
              1623 Posts
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              Posted: May 12, 2005, 12:09 am - IP Logged
              ATLANTA – A landscaper raked in some lottery luck on his birthday. Albert Van Maanen played the Georgia Lottery instant game Triple Lucky 7’s and won the game’s $177,000 top prize.

              “It was a heck of a birthday present!” exclaims Mr. Van Maanen, who celebrated his 48th birthday on Monday, May 9.

              Georgia Lottery retailer Mega Star Food Mart #0001, located at 11320 Hwy. 41 in Ringgold, sold the winning ticket.

              According to Mr. Van Maanen, he scratched the lucky ticket in the store. He thought he won but asked the clerk, “Can you check this? Is it any good?” The clerk confirmed the great news, and Mr. Van Maanen’s birthday celebration got even more exciting.

              Mr. Van Maanen, a resident of Chattanooga, Tenn., operates a lawn service business. He plans to invest his Georgia Lottery winnings.



              Since its first year, the Georgia Lottery Corporation has returned over $7.4 billion to the state of Georgia for education. All Georgia Lottery profits go to pay for specific educational programs. These include Georgia’s HOPE scholarship program; a statewide, voluntary pre-kindergarten program for four-year-olds; and a wide range of technological and capital upgrades for the state’s schools, technical institutes, colleges, universities and public libraries.

              Seems to me like TN needs to improve some instant game prizes.  TN players still cross the lines daily to buy GA tickets.  I wonder if GA crosses into TN??  Wait I know the answer.  YES.  There is a guy from Atlanta that won $100,000 on powerball in TN last year. 

              How are you going to win if you don't play?

                LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
                Tennessee
                United States
                Member #7853
                October 15, 2004
                11338 Posts
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                Posted: May 12, 2005, 9:41 pm - IP Logged

                tennessee is powerball,georgia is mega millions so there will be a lot of people coming and going from both states.

                  Tnplayer805's avatar - G 14_v78828750_Small.JPG
                  North Dakota
                  United States
                  Member #13397
                  April 5, 2005
                  1623 Posts
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                  Posted: May 12, 2005, 10:46 pm - IP Logged

                  Was in Chattanooga today.  Retailers on the line are busy.  Went bought a few GA tickets and a few TN tickets.  Most people are playing in TN right now because of the powerball Jackpot. 

                  How are you going to win if you don't play?