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N.H. Lottery gets approval for $30 scratch tickets

Feb 24, 2006, 9:44 am

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New Hampshire LotteryNew Hampshire Lottery: N.H. Lottery gets approval for $30 scratch tickets

Is the buzz that comes from buying a $20 scratch ticket starting to wear off?

Don't worry; you will soon be able to press a vending machine button and buy a nation-leading $30 ticket if the state lottery commission has its way.

The state Senate overruled its presiding officer and advanced a bill intended to give the Lottery Commission the freedom to decide when the top ticket of $20 has run its course.

Texas and Connecticut are the only state lotteries in the nation selling a $30 scratch ticket.

Heavy-selling retailers will find a bonus of their own in the bill (SB 365) as the state could adopt free-market principles in the commissions they receive.

Executive Director Rick Wisler said the lottery wants to kick up the commission and awards for selling a jackpot, a winning ticket and for those who sell the most tickets.

"We believe incentives would really boost sales. You see it in the private sector all the time," Wisler said.

The Senate Finance Committee will review the legislation that would give Wisler's commission the power to create a $30 ticket.

"I think it's a good assumption that if the Legislature acts, the $30 ticket could come in 18 months, but it depends on when the right time is to do it," Wisler said.

Senate President Ted Gatsas, R-Manchester, opposed the bill and backed a move to kill it, which failed, 14-9.

"If we are going to have a discussion about an expansion of gambling, let's have that discussion and let all issues be on the table," Gatsas said.

Slot machine gaming at select locations, the introduction of off-track betting parlors are among the options that legislative leaders should consider before choosing to make more money with a higher-priced scratch ticket, Gatsas said.

Marketing of the high-priced tickets is already extreme, Gatsas continued, noting the $20 and $10 tickets are easily visible to the customer while the $1 and $2 scratch tickets are at ankle height.

Wisler said the $20 ticket has been a huge success since lawmakers approved the sale last year. It was predicted to produce $10 million by June 30.

"We've already sold $12 million and every week we are averaging a half-million dollars in sales of $20 tickets," Wisler said.

Patrons from Massachusetts, where the top scratch ticket is $10, have been a windfall source of money for the state, Wisler added.

"When we had the record ($365 million) Powerball jackpot last week, a high percentage of players from Massachusetts were coming in to play the Powerball and buy a $20 scratch ticket," Wisler said.

All these lottery changes came after Gov. John Lynch asked the three commissioners to design ways the state could increase aid to education from $75 million to $100 million.

Antrim Republican Sen. Robert Flanders said he opposes new forms of gambling, but lottery regulators are asking for tools to raise more money and the Legislature should oblige.

"We are tying their hands behind their back and telling them not to do it," Flanders said.

"You know my position on (expanded) gambling, but we have this, he said. "This is here." Senate Majority Leader Robert Clegg, R-Hudson, and Milford Republican Sen. Peter Bragdon joined Gatsas in wanting to kill the bill.

All other area senators opposed that step, including Nashua Democrats Joseph Foster and David Gottesman, Bedford Republican Sheila Roberge, Salem Republican Chuck Morse and Manchester Republican Andre Martel.

Lotteries Compared

The following reflects the highest-priced ticket currently sold in New England states.

  • New Hampshire: $20
  • Massachusetts: $10
  • Vermont: $20
  • Maine: $20
  • Rhode Island: $10
  • Connecticut: $30

Note: Connecticut and Texas both sell $30 tickets, the most expensive of any state lotteries in the nation.

The Telegraph

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9 comments. Last comment 16 years ago by mylollipop.
Page 1 of 1
Dream's avatar - dragon1

United States
Member #2399
September 28, 2003
143 Posts

What is the grand prise on a $20 and $30 tickets?

NH $20 :

Golden Luck

On Sale: 12/12/2005
Price: $20
Top Prize: $250,000
odds 1:420,000

Overall odds: 1:3.04

Holiday million wishes 

TX $30:

Price: $30

Top price: $2,000,000


I do not think its worth spending that much money. In MA for $10 you can win $4,000,000 paid out in 20 installments. Not sure about the others


    Tenaj's avatar - michellea
    Charlotte NC
    United States
    Member #17405
    June 18, 2005
    4073 Posts

    CrazyI'm sorry ya'll but paying $30 for a scratch off is a little too much for me.  I can't see myself scratching a ticket with no wins.  It would too disappointing for me.LOL


      Sparta, NJ
      United States
      Member #18330
      July 9, 2005
      1977 Posts

      $30.00 - hummmm.  Lets go for the $50.00 tickets.  Then when you buy it, you get the free T-Shirt that says, "She's with Stupid!"


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

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


        United States
        Member #10720
        January 23, 2005
        933 Posts

        On a $30 ticket the grand prize would have to be 100 million for me to even bother, or at least would have to be that 4 out of 5 returned at least $25 prizes and that prizes like $500 were very common. I usually stay away from scratchers unless they're brand new then I might try it once.

        If I were to travel there for some reason, I might buy one if I had extra $.

          JAP69's avatar - scene sunovermountains.jpg
          South Carolina
          United States
          Member #6
          November 4, 2001
          8881 Posts

          If they need to raise more money for education just raise taxes. They afraid to raise taxes anymore.

          Numbers are where you find them.

            BabyJC's avatar - Lottery-031.jpg

            United States
            Member #3271
            January 7, 2004
            148 Posts

            That's insanity.  The NH tickets are the lousiest tickets anyhow.  It is mind boggling that their $5, $10, $20 tickets -- none of them offer any $1 million (and up) prizes at all. 

              justxploring's avatar - villiarna
              Wandering Aimlessly
              United States
              Member #25359
              November 5, 2005
              4461 Posts

              If they need to raise more money for education just raise taxes. They afraid to raise taxes anymore.

              Unless things have changed in NH since I lived there, NH has no state income tax and no sales tax. I like the motto on their license plates "Live Free or Die!"  Property tax was a little on the high side, however. I haven't lived in NH since 1994, but I definitely remember when I'd go on vacation and buy something that cost 99 cts, give the cashier a buck, and expect change.  It took a while getting used to the 6% Florida sales tax.  Funny that their lottery isn't so hot since it's the first state in the country to have one to the best of my knowledge. People would drive from Boston on Sunday to buy NH Sweepstakes tickets before MA had a lottery of its own.

                United States
                Member #7853
                October 15, 2004
                11350 Posts

                i wonder if tennessee will ever offer them this high......

                  mylollipop's avatar - Trek STLOGO6.png

                  United States
                  Member #24379
                  October 21, 2005
                  623 Posts

                  I remember a time in LA, when scratch offs were only a $1.00 and the prizes were good.  Now LA like other states, have increased the scrathch off price and there not as many good cash pay outs.  And but a ticket over $20.00!  I don't think so, $1.00 is the limit for me on scratch offs.