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Texas Lottery to change Lotto game back to 6/54 format

Texas LotteryTexas Lottery: Texas Lottery to change Lotto game back to 6/54 format

Texas lottery commissioners moved one step closer Friday to returning the Lotto Texas game to its original format by signing off on a plan to bounce the so-called bonus ball from the format that decides how the multimillion-dollar jackpots are won.

Meanwhile, the two sitting commissioners who oversee lottery operations deferred a decision on who will be hired to run the agency, which generates $1 billion a year for the state. But both offered high praise for former state Rep. Talmadge Heflin, a Houston Republican who submitted an eleventh-hour application for the $115,000-a-year post. The next lottery director could be named next month.

Under the proposal that will be published in the Texas Register and on the lottery's Web site for public review and comment, Lotto Texas will be structured as it was before the bonus ball was introduced just over two years ago.

To win the jackpot, which starts at $4 million and increases each time no one hits it, players must match six numbers from a field of 54 to the ones picked during the twice-weekly drawings. The odds against winning would drop from one in 48 million under the bonus ball configuration to one in 26 million.

Regular players, lottery products manager Robert Tirloni said, "absolutely did not ... like the bonus ball."

Commission Chairman C. Thomas Clowe said the change is needed to help stem the 30-percent drop in ticket sales since the bonus ball was introduced.

"If I had known we were going to lose 30 percent of our player base, I never would have voted to make that change," he said. "To just give away 30 percent of our market was a mistake."

Clowe also he was not ruling out restoring Lotto Texas to the six-out-of-50 configuration it had when the game debuted in Texas in 1992. Tirloni and other lottery executives warned that such a move might severely undercut the state's profit margin.

After the lottery commission meeting, Clowe said he encouraged Heflin to apply for the director's post because of the former lawmaker's 22 years of experience in state government, particularly his two-year stint as chairman of the budget-writing House Appropriations Committee. Since his defeat in the 2004 elections, Heflin has been running his management consultant business full time.

"I think he's very well-qualified," Clowe said. "He's very knowledgeable about lottery operations."

Clowe stopped short of endorsing Heflin, as did Commissioner Jim Cox, who described the applicant as "a very promising candidate." The lottery commission is a three-member panel, although one slot is presently vacant.

The Texas Department of Public Safety will do a thorough background check before any vote is taken on Heflin's application. A government watchdog group expressed reservations about Heflin, pointing out that he accepted $30,000 in campaign donations from organizations seeking to legalize slot machines in the state.

Star-Telegram

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17 comments. Last comment 11 years ago by Just6ntlc.
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Avatar
Sparta, NJ
United States
Member #18331
July 9, 2005
1977 Posts
Offline
Posted: November 19, 2005, 9:40 am - IP Logged

The Texas Department of Public Safety will do a thorough background check before any vote is taken on Heflin's application. A government watchdog group expressed reservations about Heflin, pointing out that he accepted $30,000 in campaign donations from organizations seeking to legalize slot machines in the state.

Just the man to bring integrity to the Lottery. 

Cheers

|||::> *'`*:-.,_,.-:*''*:--->>> Chewie  <<<---.*''*:-.,_,.-:*''* <:::|||

I only trust myself - and that's a questionable choice

    Bradly_60's avatar - disney37
    Atlantic Mine, Michigan
    United States
    Member #416
    June 23, 2002
    1614 Posts
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    Posted: November 19, 2005, 10:23 am - IP Logged

    It will be interesting to see how sales drop even further after they switch it back.  People don't like the old pick six out of a set of numbers games.  I highly doubt they lost all 30% because people didn't like the game.

    With odds of 1 in 20 million, the jackpot would never grow high.

    Brad


      United States
      Member #3676
      February 10, 2004
      425 Posts
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      Posted: November 19, 2005, 12:15 pm - IP Logged

      Mega Millions has now taken that share away. I agree though a state having two bonus ball games is probably not in its best interests, but this game will rarely have a huge jackpot. Again states should up the payback percentages to compete with other forms of gambling entertainment which in turn equals more sales, more revenue, more taxes paid to winners yada yada.  But as we know that will never happen.

        Bradly_60's avatar - disney37
        Atlantic Mine, Michigan
        United States
        Member #416
        June 23, 2002
        1614 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: November 19, 2005, 12:58 pm - IP Logged

        I don't think the two games is that bad.  Look at California...i know they have a lot of people....but both of their games are pretty much identical and they both are doing good.

        Brad


          United States
          Member #379
          June 5, 2002
          11296 Posts
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          Posted: November 19, 2005, 4:20 pm - IP Logged

          I agree with reverting Lotto Texas to the 6/54, rather than the 6/50. The latter would not allow big jackpots, which is the case with Lotto South. As for the bonus ball, the problem is that 0+1 does not win, which it does with MM, with or without Megaplier.

            LottoPools's avatar - bee
            Houston, TX
            United States
            Member #4496
            April 29, 2004
            71 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: November 19, 2005, 4:59 pm - IP Logged

            Actually, Lotto TX did lose a lot of players just because of the switch to the bonus ball, myself among them.  Add to that the addition of MegaMillions, and the number of players dropped even more.

            Even with the scandal over inflated jackpots, I would return to playing Lotto TX if they drop the bonus ball.  Yes the jackpots are small and grow slowly but $4 million is nothing to sneeze at.

            My work pool plays MM no matter how much the jackpot is.  Even when Lotto TX is more than MM (I think that's only happened once since MM came here), we still play MM because TX goes pari-mutuel at bonus ball + three.

             

            ________________________

            Playing together to make a splash in the pool of lottery winners.  It's just a matter of time.

              konane's avatar - wallace
              Atlanta, GA
              United States
              Member #1265
              March 13, 2003
              3333 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: November 19, 2005, 5:03 pm - IP Logged

              Maybe it's not important with a regular 6 number state lotto game that the jackpot go sky high as with MM or PB. 

              Just perhaps a lower matrix as the game began which provides an opportunity to win lower tier prizes more often while retaining an opportunity to win a jackpot .... is important to more players than you might imagine.

              Good luck to everyone!

                Avatar
                Redmond WA
                United States
                Member #5966
                July 29, 2004
                71 Posts
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                Posted: November 19, 2005, 8:42 pm - IP Logged

                 

                 Washington state use to have Lotto Plus with the bonus ball and jackpots

                 that would grow $1 million each draw...10 draws and your at $10 million.

                 Then they switched to 6/49 and the jackpot might grow $200,000 or $300,000 per

                  draw.

                 It took over 4 months to get the last jackpot to $6.9 million.

                 It is kind of like watching cheese melt.

                 

                 Mike

                  Avatar

                  United States
                  Member #1826
                  July 11, 2003
                  2645 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: November 19, 2005, 10:12 pm - IP Logged

                  Hey, what kind of things are you looking for in the old, er, new version of Lotto Texas. I can use your feedback to create a prize structure.

                  (insert signature here)

                    Avatar
                    Morrison, IL
                    United States
                    Member #4657
                    May 13, 2004
                    1884 Posts
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                    Posted: November 19, 2005, 10:12 pm - IP Logged

                      I think Texas is making the right decision by reverting back to its 6/54 format.

                      justxploring's avatar - villiarna
                      Wandering Aimlessly
                      United States
                      Member #25360
                      November 5, 2005
                      4461 Posts
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                      Posted: November 20, 2005, 12:05 am - IP Logged

                      Even with the scandal over inflated jackpots, I would return to playing Lotto TX if they drop the bonus ball.  Yes the jackpots are small and grow slowly but $4 million is nothing to sneeze at.

                      Agree.  I don't live in TX but I play the Lotto here in FL whether it's $3M or $40M.  I know the odds are high, but adding numbers or a powerball only makes the jackpot more unattainable. I was disappointed when they changed from 6/49. Most of the time there's only one winner anyway. Tonight one person won $10M. It's not $315M, but it certainly would change my life!  Right now I'd be thrilled to get 5 out of 6 which averages $5,000. At least I'd get some of my "investment" back!  I once got 4 numbers and won $45 which is very disappointing, but I guess that's pretty average for most lottery games.

                       

                        Avatar

                        United States
                        Member #1826
                        July 11, 2003
                        2645 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: November 20, 2005, 7:22 pm - IP Logged

                        O.K. Here's my idea.

                        Now, obviously, people do not like the 5+1 format. But I'm sure people still like the multiple ways to win, and the improved overall odds. So I decided on a 6/54 format, but with a seperate bonus ball drawn from the remaining 48 (kind of like my Super Lotto South format). This will have the best of both worlds.

                         

                        Match
                        Prize
                        Odds
                        6
                        Jackpot**
                        1 : 25,827,165
                        5+Bonus
                        $120,000*
                        1 : 4,304,527
                        5
                        $2,500*
                        1 : 91,586
                        4+Bonus
                        $1,000*
                        1 : 36,634
                        4
                        $44*
                        1 : 1,593
                        3+Bonus
                        $33*
                        1 : 1,195
                        2+Bonus
                        $5 Guaranteed
                        1 : 80
                        3
                        $5 Guaranteed
                        1 : 106

                        Overall Odds : 1 in 42.594

                        Prize Pool Procedure :

                        30% of sales goes to the jackpot, and an additional 25% goes to the lower tiers. Out of that 25%, the Match 3 and Match 2+Bonus prizes of $5 are taken out, and the remaining money is divided evenly among the remaining tiers (approximately 1.2% of sales each).

                        (insert signature here)

                          Avatar

                          United States
                          Member #13801
                          April 14, 2005
                          48 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: November 21, 2005, 2:54 am - IP Logged

                          Interesting.  Yet another state that is now decreasing the Pick-6 matrix.

                          Until recently, state lotteries have been continually increasing the Pick-6 matrices, apparently hoping that lottery players wouldn't notice that their chances of winning were being drastically reduced with each subsequent increase.

                          But as the lottery players in Texas have shown, eventually it gets to a point where people say, "enough is enough, " and just stop buying tickets.

                          Sure, the jackpots won't be quite as large now, but if people want giant jackpots with giant odds, they can still say, "Let me get a Mega Millions ticket, too."

                          Pick-6 games are all about nice jackpots with nice odds.  Start messing with those "nice odds," and lottery players are just going to decide to keep their money in their pockets.


                            United States
                            Member #16612
                            June 2, 2005
                            3493 Posts
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                            Posted: November 21, 2005, 12:51 pm - IP Logged

                            I agree that Texas Lotto should go back to 6/54 format. Also, I agree with JimmySand9 think Texas should also have a bonus ball out of the remaining 48 balls to ensure that people can win if they match 2+bonus. I knew it that Texas having a bonus ball [5+1] flopped like what Washington did.