$50 lottery game remains popular

Dec 21, 2009, 8:57 am (10 comments)

Texas Lottery

The sour economy isn't stopping some big-spending Texans from plopping down $50 for a single lottery ticket.

Texas was the first state to offer a $50 scratch-off game, and they remain a big hit, according to Robert Heith, director of media relations for the Texas Lottery Commission.

The motivation to launch a higher-priced game was to help generate money for cash-strapped programs such as education — which receives a large portion of funds collected.

Scratch-off games have steadily increased in variety and price since being introduced in Texas in 1992.The typical $1 and $5 tickets were joined by games costing $25.The first $50 game was introduced in 2007.

"When our staff looks at introducing any game, we look at a number of things," Heith said. "No. 1 is will it generate revenue for the state of Texas?"

But just who buys the $50 tickets? Lee and Frank Lanphear, twin brothers from Tuscola, to name two. They say the scratching is half the fun.

"I've never seen a winner," Lee Lanphear said. "We bought three in a row one day, and didn't hit anything."

Store employees like Billy Moore, who manages the Shell gas station on South 1st Street, said the high price doesn't deter some customers from purchasing the tickets. On average, he sells two or three per day.

"It's usually the same customers that buy them. Some days we sell more than others. They aren't our best seller, but we do sell them," Moore said.

Heith said focus groups are formed to study what appeals to the consumer.

"It has done really well," Heith said, "Coupled with high Mega Millions jackpots, it has had a big impact on revenue and our fiscal years."

Total lottery sales for fiscal year 2008 were $3.67 billion. Fiscal year 2009 saw a slight increase at $3.72 billion. Scratch-off sales accounted for $2.79 billion, making it the state's most lucrative game format.

The $50 game, $140,000,000 Extreme Payoff, is named for the total amount in prizes that can be won, assuming the game's approximately 3.75 million tickets get scratched and redeemed.

According to Heith, of the three top prizes of $10 million, only one has been claimed.

Heith said lottery players across the state can look online at the Texas Lottery Web site to see whether the top prizes have been claimed for their favorite games.

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charmed7's avatarcharmed7

The first of the year gonna cut down on some of the PICK 3 and 4

gonna play my license plts on both cars, and try some scratch off!

Don't know if i would play 50 bucks on one, but i would go for the $20 

Good Luck!

fwlawrence's avatarfwlawrence

I played a couple of the $50 tickets once. Won $50 on one. nothing on the other.Unhappy

ThatScaryChick's avatarThatScaryChick

Wow, that is a lot of money for one ticket. I can't ever see myself paying $50 for one scratch off ticket.

dopey7719's avatardopey7719

This is just utterly ridiculous!  I cringe when I splurge to buy a $10.00 scratch-off.  I just can't comprehend spending $50 on a scratch-off.  I just can't visualize someone doing that....at least not in my world.

CowboysFan's avatarCowboysFan

I hate scratch-offs.

rdgrnr's avatarrdgrnr

I think I'd be kicking myself a little bit too much to buy one $50 ticket and get absolutely nothing. And I believe that's what most of the tickets will get you - absolutely nothing. Afterall, somebody has to pay to get those 3 big winners their 10 million each. I don't think I'd help them out on this one.

I think I might be more inclined to buy one if they made 30 one million dollar prizes rather than the 3 tens.

barbos's avatarbarbos

  I could throw $50 into around 300M  mega millions jackpot  but pay that much for a scratcher?? Unlikely.

bern117's avatarbern117

I would rather buy 25 Powerball plus play.

bashley572's avatarbashley572

wow, highest NY has is a $30 game and thats alot to me.  I might try something fun next time I have a little extra cash - buy 1 $30 ticket then buy $30 worth of a dollar ticket and see which one wins more???


How about this idea: make a game for $50, whatever, but have it so it always wins something, usually 40 dollars at least, so it "really" costs $10 and you never lose more than that and all the tickets are good! Would also be an excellent gift because you know the recipient gets at least something!

I'd need to know the odds on a game with a high cost like that VS. what if you played several regular numbers games or Mega tickets, are the odds (return) better or worse on the scratch? I'm sure there are several that will win $100 or $200 but with 100 STR plays would be similar odds, and scratch-off is like computerized because you can't pick the "numbers".

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