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Last day for Lotto South

Lotto SouthLotto South: Last day for Lotto South

One day you're in, and the next day you're out.

Like Carrot Top and Ugg boots, the Virginia Lottery's Lotto South has fallen in the latter category.

Today will be the last drawing for the nearly 5-year-old game with roots dating to 1990. If no one wins the final $4.5 million jackpot, all secondary prizes from $5 to $1,000 will be doubled.

Virginia Lottery officials say many of today's lottery players have turned their backs on Lotto South in favor of multistate games such as Mega Millions and Powerball that seduce with huge jackpots. Powerball created a frenzy last weekend with a record $365 million jackpot. Mega Millions offered an alluring $212 million in Friday's drawing.

Because these games are played in several states (Mega Millions, for instance, is played in Virginia and 11 other states) they draw more players, meaning a higher jackpot than with games sponsored by a single state or just a few — as well as more challenging odds. Chance of winning the jackpot in Mega Millions is 1 in 176 million.

Lotto South, according to the Virginia Lottery's 2005 annual report, went from a high of selling 86.7 million tickets in 2002 to 66.6 million in 2005. Virginia shares Lotto South with Georgia and Kentucky.

Hazel Garrison passed on a Lotto South ticket at the Quick-Ette in Fincastle this week after cashier Sharon Painter told her the night's jackpot was a mere $4 million.

"That's not enough," said Garrison, who works at Koyo Steering Systems USA.

Lotto South will be replaced with Win for Life, beginning Wednesday. Instead of a minimum $2 million jackpot, winners get $1,000 per week for the rest of their lives.

Win for Life players choose six numbers, from one to 42. The Free Ball is a seventh number drawn from remaining numbers that helps to determine lower-level prizes, which range from $2 to $52,000.

Virginia Lottery officials hope Win for Life will foster Mega Millions-level excitement while giving players better odds at taking the top prize, said Virginia Lottery spokeswoman Jennifer Mullen. Odds of winning the top prize in Win for Life will be 1 in 5.2 million, compared with 1 in 14 million for Lotto South.

The Virginia Lottery selected Win For Life as its new game after working with focus groups. "They really liked the idea of a supplemental income," Mullen said.

The idea of winning a huge jackpot prize may sound like a universal dream, but some players find it intimidating, explained Jill Vaughan, communication director for the Virginia Lottery.

Stories in the media have featured jackpot winners telling stories of being beleaguered by requests for money, mismanaging their funds and watching marriages disintegrate over money arguments.

With Win for Life, players probably don't risk that situation.

"This isn't a life-changing prize," Vaughan said. "It's a nice cushion."

As with Lotto South, the Virginia Lottery will partner with Georgia and Kentucky for Win for Life.

Ken Bandy of Fincastle bought a Lotto South ticket for Wednesday's drawing. He's a regular player, but wasn't traumatized to hear the game will soon be history.

"I never won nothing anyway," he said.

James Kyle, a salesman for Virginia Truck Center, regularly plays Lotto South with the same two sets of numbers. He stays up to watch the nightly lottery drawing on television, a ritual he calls "his little thrill."

But the death of Lotto South won't be a big whoop for Kyle either. He plans to play the same two sets of numbers with Win for Life.

About 13,500 people had subscriptions to Lotto South, meaning they paid in advance for numerous lottery drawings, according to Mullen. They've received the option of transferring their subscription to a Mega Millions subscription or receiving a refund for their remaining plays.

For most gambling addicts the Virginia Lottery's decision to replace Lotto South with Win for Life won't help to nip their problem, according to Keith Whyte, executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling.

He compared it to the idea that an alcoholic will give up drinking if a favorite brand of vodka is discontinued.

"Generally the deeper problems people have, the less they're influenced by game design," Whyte said.

Lotto South evolved from Virginia's pick-six Lotto game, which began in 1990.

In 2005, the Virginia Lottery turned over more than $423 million for education.

Roanoke Times

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29 comments. Last comment 11 years ago by CASH Only.
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Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
Chief Bottle Washer
New Jersey
United States
Member #1
May 31, 2000
23277 Posts
Online
Posted: February 25, 2006, 8:50 am - IP Logged

I'm sad to see this game go.

 

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    Avatar
    Coastal Georgia
    United States
    Member #2653
    October 30, 2003
    1866 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: February 25, 2006, 9:55 am - IP Logged

    Question:

     

    If no one wins the jackpot, what happens to the money  ?

     

                                   

                  

     

     

      Avatar
      Louisville, KY
      United States
      Member #15734
      May 20, 2005
      203 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: February 25, 2006, 11:16 am - IP Logged

      Question:

       

      If no one wins the jackpot, what happens to the money  ?

      It will be rolled into the secondary prizes, as the article said... they apparently will be doubled.

        Avatar
        Poway CA (San Diego County)
        United States
        Member #3489
        January 25, 2004
        14120 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: February 25, 2006, 11:18 am - IP Logged

        I have posted my predictions for the final draw on the Prediction Page.

         


          United States
          Member #379
          June 5, 2002
          11296 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: February 25, 2006, 11:27 am - IP Logged

          LS was not perfect (IMO the matrix was too small) but it will be missed when compared with Lose for Life. The new game won't last as long as LS, especially since GA (still don't know about KY and VA) won't offer a cash option.

            Avatar

            United States
            Member #13801
            April 14, 2005
            48 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: February 25, 2006, 3:43 pm - IP Logged

            Interesting. So they're going to pay out a jackpot that barely puts a person over the poverty level because giving millions of dollars to a person is too intimidating and may lead to money mismanagement and divorces?

            These people are so nice, aren't they? Always looking out for our best interests. But isn't there still a chance a $1000/week could lead to money mismanagement and divorces, too? Better lower the payments to $500/week, just to be sure. [/sarcasm]

            Lets discuss the real reason they're cancelling Lotto South: to make more money for the lottery commissions. That's it. Nothing more.

            Let me give ya'll an example of how this works, using a fictitional jackpot game:

            Assume the lottery commissions keep 50% of the sales from this jackpot game and the jackpot sales were $8 million per month in 2004 and $6 million per month in 2005:

             

            2004 ($8 million/month in sales)

            $4 million/month -- Goes to the lottery commissions

            $4 million/month -- Paid to the lottery players

             

            2005 ($6 million/month in sales)

            $3 million/month -- Goes to the lottery commissions

            $3 million/month -- Paid to the lottery players

             

            Notice that the lottery commissions made $4 million per month in 2004, but only $3 million per month in 2005.

            So what's their solution? Simple: just make a new game that takes more than 50%. For example, lets assume they make a new game that takes 67%. Here's how the numbers would work if they made $6 million in sales as they did in 2005:

             

            New Game ($6 million/month in sales)

            $4 million/month -- Goes to the lottery commissions

            $2 million/month -- Paid to the lottery players

             

            Do you see what just happened here? The lottery commissions are now back to making $4 million per month, just as they did in 2004. But, the lottery players are only getting half of what the got in 2004.

            They only thing I can't figure out is, don't all states have regulations that compel them to pay out a certain percentage of the lottery sales? Or do only a few states have these regulations?

              DoctorEw220's avatar - alien helmet.jpg
              Yinzer Country, PA
              United States
              Member #4067
              March 18, 2004
              2741 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: February 25, 2006, 5:43 pm - IP Logged

              How does Lotto South have roots dating back to 1990?  Was that the old Lotto games on those states?

              I've redone my website.  Go to www.dr-ew.com.  I kept a lot of the old stuff, and I've added some new stuff.  Look for more new stuff in the coming weeks.

                Avatar
                NY
                United States
                Member #23835
                October 16, 2005
                3475 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: February 25, 2006, 7:52 pm - IP Logged

                Question:

                 

                If no one wins the jackpot, what happens to the money  ?

                It will be rolled into the secondary prizes, as the article said... they apparently will be doubled.

                Unless they're going to do something with the money that isn' mentioned in the article, it looks like the correct answer may be that a lot of it is going to stay in the state coffers. If Kentucky lists the number of winners on their website they don't do it in a very obvious place. I'm not going to spend a lot of time looking, but based on the numbers for Virginia and Georgia it looks like doubling the payouts for lower prizes won't  even come close to using all of the money from the jackpot prize pool.

                For the last draw the total payout  for Virginia and Georgia was about 287 grand, so unless Kentucky has really huge lottery sales, the total payout for all three states wouldn't have been more than perhaps 500 grand. Doubling the payout for the last draw would then require an extra 500 grand, but the cash value of the jackpot is about 2.25 million. That sounds like the states may be pocketing about  1.75 million from money that's in the prize pool. The 2nd place prize paid $1665 in the last draw, but the article says that prizes up to $1000 will be doubled. If that's the case, I guess they'll be keeping even more.

                  Avatar
                  New Member

                  United States
                  Member #24696
                  October 26, 2005
                  11 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: February 25, 2006, 9:38 pm - IP Logged

                  according to a wikipedia post about Win For Life, there is lump sum offer, but its on the guaranteed 10 yr payout ($520,000), now it may not say what states offer it, but then GA doesn't even have a page about win for life on its website, and wikipedia is as reliable as it is unreliable.

                    starchild_45's avatar - spherewall2
                    kent, washington
                    United States
                    Member #3509
                    January 26, 2004
                    465 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: February 25, 2006, 9:40 pm - IP Logged

                    i will miss this game. whenever i was in va i would play. never won but i did play a lot.

                      LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
                      Tennessee
                      United States
                      Member #7853
                      October 15, 2004
                      11338 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: February 26, 2006, 12:12 pm - IP Logged

                      I'm sad to see this game go.

                      me too.i would've played it had the offered it here in tennessee.....

                        konane's avatar - wallace
                        Atlanta, GA
                        United States
                        Member #1265
                        March 13, 2003
                        3333 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: February 26, 2006, 12:29 pm - IP Logged

                        How does Lotto South have roots dating back to 1990?  Was that the old Lotto games on those states?

                        Lotto South morphed from the Virginia Lottery,  and both Kentucky and Georgia which had 6 number lotto games killed theirs and joined into something with longer odds, smaller payouts than Lotto Georgia at its worst.  

                        In Georgia we had no studies or group feedback that I was ever aware of and our discontinuing Lotto Georgia was a singular pronouncement that it was over.  

                         

                        Good luck to everyone!


                          United States
                          Member #379
                          June 5, 2002
                          11296 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: February 26, 2006, 1:06 pm - IP Logged

                          according to a wikipedia post about Win For Life, there is lump sum offer, but its on the guaranteed 10 yr payout ($520,000), now it may not say what states offer it, but then GA doesn't even have a page about win for life on its website, and wikipedia is as reliable as it is unreliable.

                          GA won't offer a cash option. I don't know for sure about KY or VA.

                            konane's avatar - wallace
                            Atlanta, GA
                            United States
                            Member #1265
                            March 13, 2003
                            3333 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: February 26, 2006, 1:34 pm - IP Logged

                            according to a wikipedia post about Win For Life, there is lump sum offer, but its on the guaranteed 10 yr payout ($520,000), now it may not say what states offer it, but then GA doesn't even have a page about win for life on its website, and wikipedia is as reliable as it is unreliable.

                            GA won't offer a cash option. I don't know for sure about KY or VA.

                            Supposed to go on sale today but no information on the Georgia Lottery site yet, only a notation about it in their daily updates email.

                            However, am happier about the lower matrix. 

                            Now I wonder if they're going to lower the Fantasy 5 matrix back to the original 5/35 one.  Bet they'd get more players and old players returning if they did.  Big Grin

                            Good luck to everyone!