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New Hamshire budget closely linked to lottery luck

New Hampshire LotteryNew Hampshire Lottery: New Hamshire budget closely linked to lottery luck

If someone won Wednesday night's Powerball jackpot, New Hampshire's tight state budget would be the big loser, according to the chairman of the New Hampshire Lottery Commission.

A winner of the $129 million jackpot would cool off betting in the final six weeks of the state's budget year, which could prevent the state from meeting its $71 million profit target, said Chairman Richard Campbell.

"We aren't going to make it unless Powerball gets on a roll," Campbell told Gov. John Lynch and the Executive Council during its breakfast meeting Wednesday.

Commissioners Paul Holloway and Arthur Klemm joined Campbell to deliver a wide-ranging and sobering outlook for the agency that created the state's first lottery 41 years ago.

"What we need is the ability to operate as a business," Holloway said. "If not, we will stay where we are, the status quo."

Gov. John Lynch called on the commission to "think outside the box" and prepare a long-range plan on how it would increase profit to $100 million a year.

"Think broadly about how we can improve," he said.

Powerball jackpots drive lottery sales, and last year they were large enough to generate at least $2.5 million a week on five occasions.

"This year, we have had only one of those runs," Campbell said.

The Tri-State Megabucks and related games sold in conjunction with Vermont and Maine earns New Hampshire $10 million a year, but it's off 1.5 percent this year, Campbell said.

Officials in the two other partner states are slow to accept new offerings that New Hampshire wants to offer customers.

"We have partners who are not very aggressive. If they don't meet their estimate, they just raise taxes," Holloway said.

"They continue to support tired programs."

Councilor Ruth Griffin, R-Portsmouth, said the commission should seek new alliances.

"Why don't we get out of it?" Griffin asked of the tri-state compact.

The commission is in the early stages of exploring that option, Holloway said.

The commissioners said they can generate more profit for state aid to schools if given flexibility to pay its sales force a commission rather than a fixed salary, a bigger advertising budget and allow people to buy a yearlong subscription to Powerball online.

The Legislature has a mixed record on giving the lottery what it has asked for this year.

Members approved a bill that Lynch will sign later this spring to unveil a $20 scratch ticket to produce a projected $4.8 million more over the next two years. Currently, the most expensive scratch ticket is $10.

But the House killed a measure that would allow someone other than state lottery staff to sell tickets on a temporary basis at rest areas, bowling lanes and truck stops.

Massachusetts is cutting into New Hampshire sales with its Mass Millions game, Campbell said.

At times, it has larger jackpots than Powerball, and those should grow now that California has become the latest state to join the group.

Massachusetts also increased its advertising budget from $400,000 to $5 million a year. New Hampshire's annual ad budget is $1.2 million.

"They are targeting our border communities," Campbell said. "It has had an effect."

Nashua Telegraph

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6 comments. Last comment 11 years ago by CASH Only.
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United States
Member #972
December 30, 2002
465 Posts
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Posted: May 20, 2005, 3:56 pm - IP Logged

Now that I know New Hampshire, one of the worst states in the country in helping the poor and disabled, is so heavily dependent on $20 scratch tickets and Powerball jackpots to make ends meet, it makes it all the more satisfying to not give them my dollar.

    LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
    Tennessee
    United States
    Member #7853
    October 15, 2004
    11338 Posts
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    Posted: May 21, 2005, 8:56 pm - IP Logged

    if powerball hits they are in a bad position....

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      United States
      Member #1826
      July 11, 2003
      2645 Posts
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      Posted: May 21, 2005, 9:11 pm - IP Logged

      I think they meant Mass was cutting in with Mega Millions. Mass Millions has since been replaced with Ca$h Winfall (another game worth driving for when a rolldown is imminent).

      (insert signature here)

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        United States
        Member #1826
        July 11, 2003
        2645 Posts
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        Posted: May 21, 2005, 9:14 pm - IP Logged

        And speaking of Tri-State Megabucks, there was a winner of only $700,000 annuity value last Wednesday. Could TSM be making a comeback sales-wise?

        (insert signature here)

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          Greenwich, CT
          United States
          Member #4793
          May 24, 2004
          1822 Posts
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          Posted: May 24, 2005, 11:31 am - IP Logged

          Border communities are all that New Hampshire has.  Take away Manchester, Nashua, (London)Derry, and Portsmouth and you've got no population left.  Everyone is a short drive from Mass. 


            United States
            Member #379
            June 5, 2002
            11296 Posts
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            Posted: June 4, 2005, 9:45 am - IP Logged

            Oh really?