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TV station reports on the Kansas Lottery

Kansas LotteryKansas Lottery: TV station reports on the Kansas Lottery

Some say it's harmless entertainment. Others say it can lead to a dangerous addiction. Some say its a simple way to raise millions for important state programs. Others say it's a game that takes advantage of the poor. But, however you feel about the Lottery it's here to stay.

The old adage, 'it's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game' does not apply here.

Tony Trotter says he's been playing the lottery for years.

"I figure somebody has got to win — somebody's got to win," says Trotter. "Why not me?"

The Kansas Lottery has more than 60 different games going at any time, and makes no secret of the odds.

Ok, take a scratch off ticket. That's $2.00 . Now the crossword scratch off, it's one of the most popular games the Lottery has. Now the odds of winning are always on the back of the ticket and on this particular game, it's about 1 in 4.

On a $10.00 scratch-off, your odds of winning some prize are about 1 in 3. On Super Kansas Cash, a lotto-style game with a minimum jackpot of $100,000, your odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 2.4 million. And Hot Lotto, also a lotto-style game with a minimum jackpot of $1 million, the jackpot odds are 1 in 11 million.

But it's the multi-state, multi-million dollar Powerball game that excites so many players, like Tony. He says he always plays at least a dollar for Powerball's Wednesday and Saturday drawings.

"You can't win if you don't play," says Trotter.

A winning attitude will only take you so far. Tony says he hasn't given much thought to his odds of winning.

"I know the higher the money is, the higher the odds go up," says Trotter.

Well Tony, the good news is the odds are actually always the same, no matter how many people play. The bad news is, well, the odds.

"The odds of winning a prize are not astronomical, but the odds of winning the jackpots are, somewhat," Kansas Lottery executive director Ed Van Petten says.

Van Petten says to hit the big time, you must pick the correct five numbers out of a set of 55, and the correct Powerball number out of a second set of 42. The odds of doing that are one in 146 million.

"One in 146 million, yeah, that's big odds right there," says Trotter.

To put that in context, we asked Washburn University statistics professor Ron Wasserstein to provide an analogy.

"I tell students to visualize 140 million freshly minted dollar bills," says Wasserstein.

Suppose those bills were laid end to end and just one of them has a lucky serial number on it. To win all the $140 million, all you have to do is choose the lucky dollar bill from among all the others in the line.

Odds are it may take you a very long time to make your final choice.

"That line of dollar bills stretches over 13,000 miles, which is more than the circumference of the earth at the equator," says Wasserstein.

"But its not going to stop me from playing," says Trotter.

Nor does it stop most people. Lottery sales have risen more or less steadily since the Kansas Lottery was establshed in 1987.

Last year was a record one. Nearly $235 million in tickets were sold.

Over the last 19 years, nearly $3 billion worth have been sold, and about $1.6 billion has been paid out in prizes.

But who are the winners and losers in this game?

"I think the detractors of lotteries have just assumed it was going to attract get-rich-quick schemers and people that can't afford to buy the tickets," says Van Petten.

But a recent study commissioned by the Kansas Lottery found that the average player is male, Democrat, aged 35-54, with an income between $45,000 and $65,000 a year.

Among those players though, inevitably, there are some who play who shouldn't.

"What you'll see is people that can't afford to gamble are gambling $50, $100, $200 a day," says Duane Olberding of the Kansas Coalition on Problem Gambling.

Olberding is an addiction counselor. He says he sees many people that bet too much on the lottery.

"These are people, when you look into their trash cans, they have 200 or 300 tickets," says Olberding.

Lottery Director Ed Van Petten says he's aware addiction is a serious problem for some people, and the Lottery takes steps to address that. They send $80,000 a year to the Problem Gambling Grant Fund. Also, a gambling helpline number is printed on the back of every ticket. Also, the Lottery encourages retailers to post the gambling helpline number in their stores.

But Van Petten says, for the majority of players, the Lottery is just a harmless form of entertainment

"Some people would rather go to a movie than buy a lottery ticket, and that's fine if that's what their preference is," Van Petten says.

That's how Tony Trotter says he sees it. So come Wednesdays and Saturdays, he says he always has a dollar and a dream.

"One day, you never know," laughs Trotter.

For More Information

The Kansas Lottery is located at 128 N Kansas Avenue in Topeka, 66603. Their telephone number is 785-296-5700, and their website is www.kslottery.com. The address for the Kansas Coalition on Problem Gambling is 5847 SW 29th Street in Topeka, 66614. Their telephone number is toll free, 866-662-3800, and their website is www.ksproblemgambling.org.

KTKA

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10 comments. Last comment 10 years ago by Coin Toss.
Page 1 of 1
Avatar
Delaware
United States
Member #30273
January 14, 2006
494 Posts
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Posted: November 29, 2006, 10:10 am - IP Logged

No real news reported here. Just another perspective on what we already know.

    stavros's avatar - avatar 6898.gif
    Florida
    United States
    Member #6147
    August 8, 2004
    1396 Posts
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    Posted: November 29, 2006, 10:19 am - IP Logged

    That's how Tony Trotter says he sees it. So come Wednesdays and Saturdays, he says he always has a dollar and a dream.

    "One day, you never know," laughs Trotter.

     

    Exactly, Tony!

    Good Luck!

    Stavros

     

      justxploring's avatar - villiarna
      Wandering Aimlessly
      United States
      Member #25360
      November 5, 2005
      4461 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: December 1, 2006, 9:33 am - IP Logged

      "But a recent study commissioned by the Kansas Lottery found that the average player is male, Democrat, aged 35-54, with an income between $45,000 and $65,000 a year."

       

      .....and Todd shakes his head in disbelief.  Must be that darn MSM again. Wonder what Fox News would say?

      Wink  lol

        guesser's avatar - Lottery-017.jpg

        United States
        Member #41383
        June 16, 2006
        1969 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: December 2, 2006, 12:44 am - IP Logged

        "But a recent study commissioned by the Kansas Lottery found that the average player is male, Democrat, aged 35-54, with an income between $45,000 and $65,000 a year."

         

        .....and Todd shakes his head in disbelief.  Must be that darn MSM again. Wonder what Fox News would say?

        Wink  lol

        I have YET to have anyone truly tell me the difference between a Dem and a Rep....

        30-40 years ago you could tell the difference, but not anymore. 

          Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
          Zeta Reticuli Star System
          United States
          Member #30470
          January 17, 2006
          10353 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: December 2, 2006, 1:05 am - IP Logged

          guesser

          If someone like Michael Moore shows up at a gathering and lives, they were Democrats. Heathens. Bed-wetting left wing......

           

          Justxploring

          It's an old Republican trick. When surveyed about things like lottery, say you're Democrat.

          Or, perhaps the survey was done among registered Democrats, which brings up another old trick- register with the 'other' party so you vote for their weaker candidates in the primary. Then their weaker candidates are up against yours in the gneral elections.

           Seriously though, how does the Kansas lottery know the player's political party?

          "Give me two quick picks for tonight's lotto please"

          "Republican tickets or Democrat?"

           What?

          Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any.

          Lep

          There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.

            justxploring's avatar - villiarna
            Wandering Aimlessly
            United States
            Member #25360
            November 5, 2005
            4461 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: December 2, 2006, 3:23 pm - IP Logged

            To be fair, I'll offend both parties. Some jokes I read....

            "Robert Torricelli, a powerful fund-raiser who helped raise more than $100 million for the Democratic party, took inappropriate gifts from a businessman, including an $8,000 gold Rolex watch, for which he was severely admonished by the Senate Ethics Committee in July. To recap: raising $100 million in contributions from gigantic corporations — ethical; taking a watch — unethical. That's the Senate Ethics Committee, an oxymoron since 1974." —Jon Stewart

            "Today is the anniversary of the Watergate break-in. That's the day the Republicans tried to steal the Democrat's plans. That's also the last time the Democrats had any plans worth stealing. It's also the last time a Republican president had a plan and actually carried it out." —Jay Leno

            "You remember Katherine Harris, Florida's Secretary of State. Now she is running for Congress. Just what we need, another crooked Florida election. She already believes that the confused and disoriented voters will put her over the top. She is very confident, she predicts she will win the election by 742 votes." —David Letterman

            and my favorite.....

            "The Democrats said today that if they were in power they could get Israel to pull out of Palestine. Oh shut up. They couldn't even get Bill to pull out of Monica." —Jay Leno

              Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
              Zeta Reticuli Star System
              United States
              Member #30470
              January 17, 2006
              10353 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: December 3, 2006, 11:19 pm - IP Logged

              Justxploring

              You're really tempting me to suggest a poll or two over in Lottery Discusssion....

              A Republican run lottery would offer:

              (Maybe one big winner and .............)

              and

              A Democrat run lottery would offer:

              (Lots of lesser winners, no big winner, and all the winnings would have the crap taxed out of them!)

              Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any.

              Lep

              There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.

                guesser's avatar - Lottery-017.jpg

                United States
                Member #41383
                June 16, 2006
                1969 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: December 4, 2006, 1:03 am - IP Logged

                guesser

                If someone like Michael Moore shows up at a gathering and lives, they were Democrats. Heathens. Bed-wetting left wing......

                 

                Justxploring

                It's an old Republican trick. When surveyed about things like lottery, say you're Democrat.

                Or, perhaps the survey was done among registered Democrats, which brings up another old trick- register with the 'other' party so you vote for their weaker candidates in the primary. Then their weaker candidates are up against yours in the gneral elections.

                 Seriously though, how does the Kansas lottery know the player's political party?

                "Give me two quick picks for tonight's lotto please"

                "Republican tickets or Democrat?"

                 What?

                But what is the difference ?

                 

                One used to be liberal, the other conservative, now they mixed their DNA, nobody knows... 

                  Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
                  Zeta Reticuli Star System
                  United States
                  Member #30470
                  January 17, 2006
                  10353 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: December 4, 2006, 1:38 am - IP Logged

                  But what is the difference ?

                   

                  One used to be liberal, the other conservative, now they mixed their DNA, nobody knows... 

                  Well, one difference is the Republicans don't have CAIR and Al Qaeda supporting their candidates and people in office.

                  Keith Ellison, first muslim elected to congress in Minnesota, who has said he is goint to swear in on a Koran comes to mind.

                  Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any.

                  Lep

                  There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.

                    Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
                    Zeta Reticuli Star System
                    United States
                    Member #30470
                    January 17, 2006
                    10353 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: December 4, 2006, 2:37 am - IP Logged

                     Democrat lottery:

                     A lot of people are told they've won a big jackpot, never receive the stated amount, but are taxed based on that amount. 

                    Smile

                    Justxploring, call ya and raise ya with that one, your turn.  

                    Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any.

                    Lep

                    There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.