It's a good bet that the Ohio Lottery's big-money jackpot game won't be around much longer.
The lottery is planning to replace Super Lotto Plus, which has existed in various Super Lotto forms since 1987, with another game designed to be different than the 12-state Mega Millions game played in Ohio.
The new game, to be called Lot 'O Play, will be available at online sales terminals starting Oct. 9, Tom Hayes, Ohio Lottery director, said Wednesday. Its minimum jackpot will be $1 million and can increase if there is no jackpot winner and depending on the amount of sales.
Sales in the state's jackpot game have been sagging. Super Lotto produced about $113 million in revenue in the fiscal year completed June 30, down from about $161 million in fiscal year 2003.
Mega Millions resulted in a $170 million jackpot July 22 that was won by a group in Ohio. Mega Millions typically officers a much larger jackpot that Super Lotto.
"It's not unusual for us to change a game or start a new one. Typically, every game has a life span, and you have what we call game fatigue. We thought it was a good time for a new game that looks and plays differently," Hayes said.
Lottery officials have been designing the bingo-style Lot 'O Play for about two years, said lottery spokeswoman Mardele Cohen.
Lottery experts say it's becoming common for states involved in big jackpot multistate games to revise their in-state jackpot games.
"The decision to go from an individual state lotto game to a multistate game is a natural evolution," said David Gale, director of the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries. "The way a lottery increases profits is to design games that appeal to the masses, to broaden the player base."
Maryland is revising its Classic Lotto game, to focus less on big jackpots, said Buddy Roogow, the Maryland Lottery director. Rather than compete with Mega Million, the idea is to offer a state game that offers more prizes, he said.
Gail Howard, an author in Las Vegas of several books about strategies for playing lotteries, said she questions the strategy of changing Ohio's lotto game.
"If you take away a favorite game, the players may not want to play the high-odds Mega Millions, and going to a bingo-type game is not a good idea," Howard said.
Ohio's Super Lotto game, like Mega Millions, requires players to select numbers out of a field. Lot 'O Play offers for a $2 play a field of 25 numbers within five horizontal and vertical rows.
The minimum wager will change from Super Lotto's $1, but the $2 play will buy 12 chances at a jackpot combination -- all numbers in any row across, down or diagonally. A player will be able to select numbers for the top row.
The odds for a jackpot hit will improve to about 1 in 6.3 million, from Super Lotto's 1 in 13.9 million. The new game offers other prizes of $1,000, $10 and $2 and also offers an instant win feature worth $10.
The Kicker option in Super Lotto, worth $100,000, will transfer to Mega Millions.
Shirleen Moore, 45, and Naimah O'Neal, 42, were among the lottery players Wednesday afternoon at Tower Lottery, a lottery and snacks store inside Cleveland's Terminal Tower. Both were surprised about the planned end of Super Lotto.
"It really won't make a difference, because I never won," Moore said. "I play Super Lotto and I play Mega Millions. I'll just play whatever they got."
O'Neal said: "I don't play all that often, so if they change it, it doesn't really matter to me. If it's more chances to win, that's a good thing."