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Texas Pick 3 is state's top moneymaker

Texas LotteryTexas Lottery: Texas Pick 3 is state's top moneymaker

The head of the Texas Lottery Commission calls the venerable Lotto Texas the "sweetheart game," but it's no longer the biggest single moneymaker for the state agency.

Lotto Texas, which is awaiting its third major overhaul in five years, has been surpassed by Pick 3 as the top numbers game. Over the past 12 months, Pick 3 has outsold Lotto Texas, $315.6 million to $300.3 million, sales figures show.

"Pick 3 has developed a very loyal following over the years, and those players really like the game," said Bobby Heith, a lottery commission spokesman. "I think that's what you're seeing with those sales numbers."

The commission voted late last month to revamp Lotto Texas by eliminating the so-called bonus-ball feature, returning to a format closer to that used when the game was introduced in 1992. Beginning within the next two months, Lotto players will attempt to win the jackpot, which starts at $4 million, but picking six numbers from a field of 54 during the twice-weekly plays.

Presently, players must match five numbers from a field of 44 plus the bonus-ball number from a separate field of 44.

Since the bonus-ball feature was introduced in 2003, Lotto Texas sales have plummeted by 30 percent.

But while Lotto Texas was losing altitude, Pick 3 has been gaining steam. Pick 3 drawings are held twice a day every day except Sunday, and tickets can be purchased for as little as 50 cents. Players attempt to match the three numbers drawn, and they can try to match them in the order in which they are drawn or in any order.

Players can also select a number more than once during individual plays. The odds of winning the top prize of $500 with a $1 ticket are 1 in 1,000. With a $6 ticket, the odds are 1 in 167.

"There are several ways to win, so it's kind of like playing the exacta or trifecta at the racetrack," Heith said.

The odds of winning the Lotto Texas jackpot under the current bonus-ball rules are 1 in 48 million. When the game goes to a six of 54 configuration, the odds of winning will be 1 in 25 million.

Lottery critic Dawn Nettles, publisher of the online Lotto Report, said the growing popularity of Pick 3 and the continuing decline of Lotto Texas prove her long-held contention that officials are wasting their energy by constantly devising schemes to bump up the Lotto Texas jackpot into the hundreds of millions of dollars in the hope of luring new players.

"I've been telling them all along that players will support a game that's fun to play, has decent odds and a good jackpot," Nettles said.

Lottery commission Chairman C. Thomas Clowe said during last month's meeting that players also want variety or novelty. That's why it's important to spice up games like Lotto Texas from time to time, he said.

"We're dealing with a game that's our sweetheart," Clowe said of Lotto Texas. "But it's an old sweetheart."

Fort Worth Star Telegram

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15 comments. Last comment 11 years ago by CASH Only.
Page 1 of 2

United States
Member #16612
June 2, 2005
3493 Posts
Offline
Posted: March 20, 2006, 1:23 pm - IP Logged

It's very rare to see a Pick 3 game in Texas out making their own Lotto game. When Texas eliminates the bonus ball and goes back to a 6 number field, their own lotto will outsale Pick 3. However, Texas Lotto won't have big sales as before.

    spyc63's avatar - candle
    Richmond, Texas
    United States
    Member #26588
    November 19, 2005
    184 Posts
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    Posted: March 20, 2006, 1:41 pm - IP Logged

    I Agree!

      Avatar

      United States
      Member #1826
      July 11, 2003
      2645 Posts
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      Posted: March 20, 2006, 3:20 pm - IP Logged

      Digit games are one of those games that have a small, but very loyal following. And once someone new starts playing, they get hooked. That, and a Lotto Texas that kept getting worse, it isn't surprising. I wonder how Cash Five is doing? Now that's a good game.

      (insert signature here)

        LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
        Tennessee
        United States
        Member #7853
        October 15, 2004
        11338 Posts
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        Posted: March 20, 2006, 3:22 pm - IP Logged

        why doesn't texas have a pick 4???

          cv844's avatar - Lottery-049.jpg
          texas
          United States
          Member #4689
          May 17, 2004
          4121 Posts
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          Posted: March 20, 2006, 3:45 pm - IP Logged

          I have asked them many times and they always tell me , maybe  in the future they will have it.

            LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
            Tennessee
            United States
            Member #7853
            October 15, 2004
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            Posted: March 20, 2006, 3:51 pm - IP Logged

            i wish they would do it.they are shortchanging the players not having it.its a no brainer....

              LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
              Tennessee
              United States
              Member #7853
              October 15, 2004
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              Posted: March 20, 2006, 3:51 pm - IP Logged

              dawn nettles needs to make that a priority next.....

                bobby623's avatar - abstract
                San Angelo, Texas
                United States
                Member #1097
                January 31, 2003
                1394 Posts
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                Posted: March 20, 2006, 3:52 pm - IP Logged

                 

                IMHP, Pick 3 is popular because its a stable game; that is, greedy lottery folks can't play around with the odds or change the prizes.

                Texas Lotto is failing because of greed. Those with the power to change things have screwed with Lotto so many times that people have lost confidence in the game. Pick 6/50, the original Lotto game was extremely popular. The lotto folks added 4 balls to increase profits. However, players were pissed and looked to other games. When 6/54 failed, lottery folks went to current game with the bonus ball. This game has failed to produce the huge profits the lottery folks said it would.

                The same folks who screwed up Lotto are still there, still coming up failures, except for Pick 3.

                The employees who messed up Lotto have come up with another game, pick 6/54, but reduced the lower prizes to boost the jackpot. Another failure in the making.

                As for pick 4, the lottery folks decided they could make more with the current Two-Step game, which has been sinking for a long time. Cash 5 is also sinking.

                My guess is that the lottery folks are looking around the country for games that have already failed.

                There is nothing original about the Texas lottery. They love to implement losing games.

                 

                  cv844's avatar - Lottery-049.jpg
                  texas
                  United States
                  Member #4689
                  May 17, 2004
                  4121 Posts
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                  Posted: March 20, 2006, 4:01 pm - IP Logged

                  i wish they would do it.they are shortchanging the players not having it.its a no brainer....

                  I Agree!

                    Avatar
                    Amarillo/Austin
                    United States
                    Member #1424
                    April 25, 2003
                    696 Posts
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                    Posted: March 20, 2006, 4:01 pm - IP Logged

                        Pick 4 would be a good revenue source for Texas.  Perhaps they think they have enough games going on as it is.  Might entail too much work and concentration to make more money.  Who knows????

                        If the Lottery Commission is like the Texas Department of Transportation, that would explain a lot.  Someone has to get killed at a major intersection before they put up a stop light.  TexDot is also famous for planting trees and grass and forgetting to water them. 

                        The Texas Lottery has to lose and arm and a leg before reworking a game that is unpopular with the public.  There is an old saying: "Pigs feed and Hogs get slaughtered."  That may explain what is going on down here in Texas.

                    Maybe Governor Kinky can fix it!

                    Orangeman                                                  Drum

                      cv844's avatar - Lottery-049.jpg
                      texas
                      United States
                      Member #4689
                      May 17, 2004
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                      Posted: March 20, 2006, 4:02 pm - IP Logged

                       

                      IMHP, Pick 3 is popular because its a stable game; that is, greedy lottery folks can't play around with the odds or change the prizes.

                      Texas Lotto is failing because of greed. Those with the power to change things have screwed with Lotto so many times that people have lost confidence in the game. Pick 6/50, the original Lotto game was extremely popular. The lotto folks added 4 balls to increase profits. However, players were pissed and looked to other games. When 6/54 failed, lottery folks went to current game with the bonus ball. This game has failed to produce the huge profits the lottery folks said it would.

                      The same folks who screwed up Lotto are still there, still coming up failures, except for Pick 3.

                      The employees who messed up Lotto have come up with another game, pick 6/54, but reduced the lower prizes to boost the jackpot. Another failure in the making.

                      As for pick 4, the lottery folks decided they could make more with the current Two-Step game, which has been sinking for a long time. Cash 5 is also sinking.

                      My guess is that the lottery folks are looking around the country for games that have already failed.

                      There is nothing original about the Texas lottery. They love to implement losing games.

                       

                      I Agree!

                        LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
                        Tennessee
                        United States
                        Member #7853
                        October 15, 2004
                        11338 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: March 21, 2006, 7:42 am - IP Logged

                        don't lose faith.maybe they'll come to their senses and implement a pick 4 here soon......

                          bobby623's avatar - abstract
                          San Angelo, Texas
                          United States
                          Member #1097
                          January 31, 2003
                          1394 Posts
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                          Posted: March 21, 2006, 10:23 am - IP Logged

                           Years ago, one of the the several incompetent Texas lottery directors came up with a Pick 4 game called Texas Millions. It failed and was cancelled after a couple of years.

                          The main reason Millions failed was because it was a $2 game. Players paid $1 to select numbers. The second dollar bought additional chances, which were generated by a lottery computer. In other words, the lottery decided how many winners there would be. While some folks did win a million, most players just avoided the game.

                           But the biggest potential failure of all is the grand idea one of the lottery commissioners to allow Texans to play both Mega Millions and Powerball. Can you believe that! There is little or no chance that Powerball will come to Texas. MM and PB have been competing with each other for years. I doubt they will ever set their difference aside and come up with a single contract to allow both games in the same state. Besides, MM has a good thing going. Why would they want to mess it up?

                          The commission had a chance to get Powerball, but opted for Mega Millions - because they didn't want PB to compete with the failing Texas Lotto game!! They have since become unhappy with MM, mainly because they can't control the game, and because sales of MM tickets in the state are well below expectations.

                          True, people are lining up to buy lottery products. They need money and winning a lottery game is a quick route to fortune, although only a few have been successful. It would be wrong to think, in my opinion, that people buy lottery tickets because of love of game. I don't and I don't know of anyone else who does.

                          To call Texas Lotto a 'sweetheart' is just a bunch of bull, which lottery commissioners are full of.

                           

                           

                            LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
                            Tennessee
                            United States
                            Member #7853
                            October 15, 2004
                            11338 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: March 31, 2006, 11:17 pm - IP Logged

                                Pick 4 would be a good revenue source for Texas.  Perhaps they think they have enough games going on as it is.  Might entail too much work and concentration to make more money.  Who knows????

                                If the Lottery Commission is like the Texas Department of Transportation, that would explain a lot.  Someone has to get killed at a major intersection before they put up a stop light.  TexDot is also famous for planting trees and grass and forgetting to water them. 

                                The Texas Lottery has to lose and arm and a leg before reworking a game that is unpopular with the public.  There is an old saying: "Pigs feed and Hogs get slaughtered."  That may explain what is going on down here in Texas.

                            Maybe Governor Kinky can fix it!

                            Orangeman                                                  Drum

                            e mail them and write them and demand a pick 4!