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Oklahoma Lottery sales hurt by lagging economy

Dec 11, 2009, 9:33 am

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Oklahoma LotteryOklahoma Lottery: Oklahoma Lottery sales hurt by lagging economyRating:

OKLAHOMA CITY — Lottery ticket sales declined about $11.3 million in the past fiscal year, mainly because of a downturn in the economy, Oklahoma officials said.

Powerball sales, which make up the majority of lottery sales, tumbled an estimated $7.6 million, partly because of the economy and a lack of significant jackpots, Jim Scroggins, executive director of the Oklahoma Lottery Commission, said Tuesday.

The Oklahoma Lottery is expected to contribute $66.7 million to public education for the 2010 fiscal year, down from $69.2 million for 2009, according to figures released at quarterly meeting. Total product sales, including the Powerball, Hot Lotto and other games, are projected to reach $190.5 million this fiscal year, down from $193.1 million for the previous fiscal year.

Oklahoma ticket sales also are being affected by the new Arkansas lottery, which began offering scratch-off tickets on Sept. 28 and Powerball on Oct. 31. Powerball sales in five Oklahoma counties bordering Arkansas have declined 40 percent to 50 percent in the past six weeks. Scroggins said.

"Is the decrease in sales comparable with other states?" board member George Charlton asked. "Is it possible that Arkansas will not affect us as much?"

Scroggins said he couldn't predict whether Arkansas Powerball sales of the past several weeks would be similar throughout the rest of the fiscal year, which ends June 30.

While Powerball sales are lagging, Hot Lotto and scratch-off game sales are ahead of this year's projections by $1.5 million and $4 million, respectively, Scroggins said.

The agency is trying to reach potential lottery players through social media Web sites like Facebook and Twitter, Scroggins said. People can go to those sites and find new ticket launches, game winners and other announcements, he said.

Scroggins also said the Mega Millions will be launched Jan. 31 in Oklahoma.

In October, the consortium behind Mega Millions and the Multi-State Lottery Association, which runs Powerball, agreed to cross-sell tickets for both games.

Powerball is played in Oklahoma, 31 other states and Washington, D.C., while Mega Millions is played in 12 of the country's largest states, like New York and Texas.

A few board members questioned whether the Mega Millions would have an adverse effect on the already struggling Powerball sales.

"From a defensive standpoint, Arkansas is doing Powerball and will do Mega Millions. Texas is doing Mega Millions and will see Powerball. If you're surrounded by states that are selling Powerball and Mega Millions, you better get on board," Scroggins said.

AP

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9 comments. Last comment 12 years ago by dallascowboyfan.
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rdgrnr's avatar - nw barkeep.jpg
100
Grand High Exalted Mystic Ruler
The Hall Of The Mountain Kings Tennessee
United States
Member #73902
April 28, 2009
15285 Posts
Offline

How about knocking a number or two off the matrices Mr Scroggins? How about a little competition to shake things up? That's how it works in the private sector. Make your games more attractive and profitable and you won't have to worry about Arkansas.

    Todd's avatar - Cylon 200.jpg
    50
    Chief Bottle Washer
    New Jersey
    United States
    Member #1
    May 31, 2000
    26747 Posts
    Online

    How about knocking a number or two off the matrices Mr Scroggins? How about a little competition to shake things up? That's how it works in the private sector. Make your games more attractive and profitable and you won't have to worry about Arkansas.

    Agreed.  And where's the raffle?  in 2007 Oklahoma had what it called it's "1st Anniversary Raffle", intending to have a second, third, fourth, etc., every year.  They never got beyond one. 

    If it didn't work perfectly the first time, make adjustments, but you have to be bold to be good.

     

    Check the State Lottery Report Card
    What grade did your lottery earn?

     

    Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
    Help eliminate computerized drawings!

      Tenaj's avatar - michellea
      Charlotte NC
      United States
      Member #17405
      June 18, 2005
      4073 Posts
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      Agreed.  And where's the raffle?  in 2007 Oklahoma had what it called it's "1st Anniversary Raffle", intending to have a second, third, fourth, etc., every year.  They never got beyond one. 

      If it didn't work perfectly the first time, make adjustments, but you have to be bold to be good.

      NC did the same thing with the raffle.  One time and that was it.

      takeemtothebank

        Avatar

        United States
        Member #10720
        January 23, 2005
        933 Posts
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        I am surprised that Hot Lotto sales would be ahead of Powerball. My best algorithms can't hack Hot Lotto because it's *computerized* and Powerball isn't so I do better on the "harder" game. I thought players don't like computerized games?

        Increasing sales would increase the jackpot which would simply push a limited supply of money (representing a limited supply of purchasing power) to one or a few people. Those people may choose not to spend their money so quickly thus contributing to deflation, and then buying (controlling) a disproportionately large share of goods or services. For those of you in Rio Linda, it means many people's loss of money is a few persons' gain thereof. Whatever entities the Oklahoma Lottery "take" goes to, would find the money from other sources (taxes or donations from all these winners?) to make up the difference.

        This story may have given rise to the one immediately after, which says that Oklahoma is "near the top" as far as winners. That may be to boost sales, and much better than having a squirrel mascot as an advertising tool. Maybe the Lottery wants to squeeze the ratio thus reversing these two stories.

          rdgrnr's avatar - nw barkeep.jpg
          100
          Grand High Exalted Mystic Ruler
          The Hall Of The Mountain Kings Tennessee
          United States
          Member #73902
          April 28, 2009
          15285 Posts
          Offline

          Agreed.  And where's the raffle?  in 2007 Oklahoma had what it called it's "1st Anniversary Raffle", intending to have a second, third, fourth, etc., every year.  They never got beyond one. 

          If it didn't work perfectly the first time, make adjustments, but you have to be bold to be good.

          Good point Todd. Instead of making the raffles a little more player friendly by reducing their take they seem to be willing to just drop them altogether and lose all that potential income. Typical bureaucrat thinking. There's a lot of potential raffle players out there. Give them a little better deal and they'll buy the tickets. Take 40% instead of 50% and see what happens. 40% of something is way better than 50% of nothing.

          Ideally, they should probably look outside government and get some movers and shakers in there running the whole shootin' match.

            rdgrnr's avatar - nw barkeep.jpg
            100
            Grand High Exalted Mystic Ruler
            The Hall Of The Mountain Kings Tennessee
            United States
            Member #73902
            April 28, 2009
            15285 Posts
            Offline

            I am surprised that Hot Lotto sales would be ahead of Powerball. My best algorithms can't hack Hot Lotto because it's *computerized* and Powerball isn't so I do better on the "harder" game. I thought players don't like computerized games?

            Increasing sales would increase the jackpot which would simply push a limited supply of money (representing a limited supply of purchasing power) to one or a few people. Those people may choose not to spend their money so quickly thus contributing to deflation, and then buying (controlling) a disproportionately large share of goods or services. For those of you in Rio Linda, it means many people's loss of money is a few persons' gain thereof. Whatever entities the Oklahoma Lottery "take" goes to, would find the money from other sources (taxes or donations from all these winners?) to make up the difference.

            This story may have given rise to the one immediately after, which says that Oklahoma is "near the top" as far as winners. That may be to boost sales, and much better than having a squirrel mascot as an advertising tool. Maybe the Lottery wants to squeeze the ratio thus reversing these two stories.

            "For those of you in Rio Linda..."  Wink ...     Thumbs Up

              Todd's avatar - Cylon 200.jpg
              50
              Chief Bottle Washer
              New Jersey
              United States
              Member #1
              May 31, 2000
              26747 Posts
              Online

              Good point Todd. Instead of making the raffles a little more player friendly by reducing their take they seem to be willing to just drop them altogether and lose all that potential income. Typical bureaucrat thinking. There's a lot of potential raffle players out there. Give them a little better deal and they'll buy the tickets. Take 40% instead of 50% and see what happens. 40% of something is way better than 50% of nothing.

              Ideally, they should probably look outside government and get some movers and shakers in there running the whole shootin' match.

              You know, I noticed several states dropped their raffles this year -- terrible decision IMHO -- even my own NJ!  The NJ Lottery sold out their raffle every year AFAIK -- can't believe they axed it.

              (You can see all the states with raffles on the Event Calendar page.)

               

              Check the State Lottery Report Card
              What grade did your lottery earn?

               

              Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
              Help eliminate computerized drawings!

                rdgrnr's avatar - nw barkeep.jpg
                100
                Grand High Exalted Mystic Ruler
                The Hall Of The Mountain Kings Tennessee
                United States
                Member #73902
                April 28, 2009
                15285 Posts
                Offline

                You know, I noticed several states dropped their raffles this year -- terrible decision IMHO -- even my own NJ!  The NJ Lottery sold out their raffle every year AFAIK -- can't believe they axed it.

                (You can see all the states with raffles on the Event Calendar page.)

                Virginia has only sold about 70,000 of 330,000 with only 16 days left. I don't know if it's the economy or what but they need to do something. I just hope they revamp the games instead of dropping them. It wouldn't be that hard to attract more players with a little more imagination and a little less greed.

                I can't find anything on VA's site about extending the deadline if they don't sell all the tickets (which could be good for those who did play if they keep the same prize allotments). It's hard to believe that they'd take a loss though.

                  dallascowboyfan's avatar - chi
                  Oklahoma
                  United States
                  Member #82389
                  November 12, 2009
                  6371 Posts
                  Offline

                  IMHO It also wouldn't hurt if they got better games. Arkansa, Texas and Kansas have better scratch of games and lottery games than we have in Oklahoma. Everytime DH and I go to a Cowboys game we always play Texas 2 step or Lotto Texas or get some of there scratch off, we even went north to buy some of Kansa Raffle tickets.