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Refreshingly candid: Ga. Lottery chief discusses future game plans

Georgia LotteryGeorgia Lottery: Refreshingly candid: Ga. Lottery chief discusses future game plans
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Georgia Lottery chief Margaret DeFrancisco tries to stay ahead of the pack.

In the lottery's sprawling downtown offices, DeFrancisco wheels around on a kid's scooter with a bell on the handlebars so she can avoid "close calls" with the walking crowd. And with the pressure mounting as demand for lottery revenue for HOPE scholarships and pre-k outstrips its growth, she's searching for new sources of money.

Down the road, DeFrancisco said, don't be surprised if interactive lottery games appear on one of your mobile devices. A national drawing, possibly one big pop a year with a huge payoff, also has been talked about among lottery chiefs around the country, she said.

Oops. DeFrancisco then clammed up during her interview last week.

"I'm way out there. I'm probably on a limb and I'm probably sawing it," said DeFrancisco, president of the lottery industry's trade group.

Last week, the Georgia Lottery reported a 12th straight year of raising more money for HOPE and pre-k than it did the previous year. But despite the 1.4 percent increase to $884 million, the demands on the funds are growing faster, making future cuts in HOPE likely.

"We are at a crossroads to keep this whole thing moving," DeFrancisco, 61, said. "We have to offer fun, relevant, exciting products constantly."

That means coming up with new games to keep players' interest. For example, Georgia and 10 other states joined the Powerball drawing this year, bringing the total to 44 lotteries. At the same time, Mega Millions, which Georgia already participated in, grew from 12 to 42 lotteries.

"I pitched the heck out of this thing" with her counterparts in other locales, DeFrancisco said. The reason — more participating states mean larger jackpots, which will attract additional ticket buyers.

The lottery's sweet spot, she said, is offering a jackpot of at least $100 million. That threshold was crossed 27 times since Powerball and Mega Millions expanded earlier this year — up from only 12 times during a comparable period last year.

Besides new games, DeFrancisco and her team need to get the "product mix" right so they can transfer the most money to HOPE and pre-k. Instant scratch-off games pay out between 52 percent and 78 percent to the winners, while drawings pay out about 50 percent.

"It's a very delicate balance ... to maximize the experience for the players and maximize the profit for HOPE and pre-k," DeFrancisco said.

While trying to come up with that balance, she has been criticized for what some see as an imbalance — $2.7 million in bonuses that she and the other 280 lottery employees received at a time of big education cuts.

DeFrancisco defends the incentive payments, saying the lottery operates like a private company that needs to reward salespeople and marketers to stimulate the most revenue. While this issue is not going away, the money represents less than one-tenth of a percent of the $3.6 billion in revenue.

There's a bigger issue: "Everyone wants to send their kids to pre-k and college for free," she said. "What will take us to the next level and keep us relevant?"

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8 comments. Last comment 6 years ago by GASMETERGUY.
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rdgrnr's avatar - walt
Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
United States
Member #73904
April 28, 2009
14903 Posts
Offline
Posted: July 20, 2010, 11:37 am - IP Logged

Georgia Lottery chief Margaret DeFrancisco tries to stay ahead of the pack.

In the lottery's sprawling downtown offices, DeFrancisco wheels around on a kid's scooter with a bell on the handlebars so she can avoid "close calls" with the walking crowd. And with the pressure mounting as demand for lottery revenue for HOPE scholarships and pre-k outstrips its growth, she's searching for new sources of money.

Down the road, DeFrancisco said, don't be surprised if interactive lottery games appear on one of your mobile devices. A national drawing, possibly one big pop a year with a huge payoff, also has been talked about among lottery chiefs around the country, she said.

Oops. DeFrancisco then clammed up during her interview last week.

"I'm way out there. I'm probably on a limb and I'm probably sawing it," said DeFrancisco, president of the lottery industry's trade group.

Last week, the Georgia Lottery reported a 12th straight year of raising more money for HOPE and pre-k than it did the previous year. But despite the 1.4 percent increase to $884 million, the demands on the funds are growing faster, making future cuts in HOPE likely.

"We are at a crossroads to keep this whole thing moving," DeFrancisco, 61, said. "We have to offer fun, relevant, exciting products constantly."

That means coming up with new games to keep players' interest. For example, Georgia and 10 other states joined the Powerball drawing this year, bringing the total to 44 lotteries. At the same time, Mega Millions, which Georgia already participated in, grew from 12 to 42 lotteries.

"I pitched the heck out of this thing" with her counterparts in other locales, DeFrancisco said. The reason — more participating states mean larger jackpots, which will attract additional ticket buyers.

The lottery's sweet spot, she said, is offering a jackpot of at least $100 million. That threshold was crossed 27 times since Powerball and Mega Millions expanded earlier this year — up from only 12 times during a comparable period last year.

Besides new games, DeFrancisco and her team need to get the "product mix" right so they can transfer the most money to HOPE and pre-k. Instant scratch-off games pay out between 52 percent and 78 percent to the winners, while drawings pay out about 50 percent.

"It's a very delicate balance ... to maximize the experience for the players and maximize the profit for HOPE and pre-k," DeFrancisco said.

While trying to come up with that balance, she has been criticized for what some see as an imbalance — $2.7 million in bonuses that she and the other 280 lottery employees received at a time of big education cuts.

DeFrancisco defends the incentive payments, saying the lottery operates like a private company that needs to reward salespeople and marketers to stimulate the most revenue. While this issue is not going away, the money represents less than one-tenth of a percent of the $3.6 billion in revenue.

There's a bigger issue: "Everyone wants to send their kids to pre-k and college for free," she said. "What will take us to the next level and keep us relevant?"

Ready to win money on your iPhone?

News story photo(Click to display in gallery)

I like this lady. At least you hear her talk about taking care of the players to make sure the lottery stays healthy. Her revenues are up but she is still looking for ways to improve and expand. Revenues are up in TN too (most likely due to the bad economy) but all they do here is take bows and high-five each other.


                                             
                     
                                         

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                   

"The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"

                                                                                            --Edmund Burke

 

 

    TnTicketlosers's avatar - Lottery-065.jpg

    United States
    Member #71120
    February 19, 2009
    1209 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: July 20, 2010, 12:00 pm - IP Logged

    Tennessee will never be as good as Georgia no matter what she does...I do also like her.Sun SmileyShe is the sunshine of Georgia players.

      RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
      mid-Ohio
      United States
      Member #9
      March 24, 2001
      19831 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: July 20, 2010, 2:04 pm - IP Logged

      I like this lady. At least you hear her talk about taking care of the players to make sure the lottery stays healthy. Her revenues are up but she is still looking for ways to improve and expand. Revenues are up in TN too (most likely due to the bad economy) but all they do here is take bows and high-five each other.

      If anyone ever comes up with a system to beat the odds, you'll get a chance to see how much she and other lottery officials really cares about the players.  Their jobs are to get players to lose even more money.

       * you don't need to buy more tickets, just buy a winning ticket * 
         
                   Evil Looking       

        rdgrnr's avatar - walt
        Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
        United States
        Member #73904
        April 28, 2009
        14903 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: July 20, 2010, 6:31 pm - IP Logged

        If anyone ever comes up with a system to beat the odds, you'll get a chance to see how much she and other lottery officials really cares about the players.  Their jobs are to get players to lose even more money.

        I don't think their jobs are to get people to lose more money as much as it is to get more people to lose money.

        That can be accomplished by allowing people to win more money which attracts more players and raises the cumulative loss totals which benefit the Lottery.

        It's basically the same way that cutting taxes stimulates business, thereby stimulating the economy and thereby increases tax revenue.

        Trying to make players lose more money on a per capita basis has proven to be counter-productive. The most recent changes I've seen are going the other way.


                                                     
                             
                                                 

         

         

         

         

                                                                                                           

        "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"

                                                                                                    --Edmund Burke

         

         


          United States
          Member #88611
          March 19, 2010
          14 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: July 21, 2010, 12:47 am - IP Logged

          I don't think their jobs are to get people to lose more money as much as it is to get more people to lose money.

          That can be accomplished by allowing people to win more money which attracts more players and raises the cumulative loss totals which benefit the Lottery.

          It's basically the same way that cutting taxes stimulates business, thereby stimulating the economy and thereby increases tax revenue.

          Trying to make players lose more money on a per capita basis has proven to be counter-productive. The most recent changes I've seen are going the other way.

          Hate to burst the bubble rdgrnr, but do try to exercise the statement in your signature.

          However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.  ~Winston Churchill~

          Cutting taxes does not stimulate the economy unless it is done properly. Cutting taxes to the top 2% increases the deficit and provides no economic stimulus at all. Check past results and you'll see. Tax cuts to the middle class stimulates the economy. The economic downturn is a Catch-22 situation. People scared of losing their job don't spend, it puts others out of work, they can't spend and then that puts still others out. Eventually, that first group gets it too. Until people are no longer scared and actually sart spending again, it's a circular pattern into the abiss.

          By comparing cutting taxes to playing the lottery, the equivalent would be lowering the price of the games. Most current palyers would still spend the same amount and have twice the chances to win, but those that don't play until a jackpot reaches a certain amount (you know, those against the lottery, until its too good to resist) would not play any more often.

          More chances by different types of games would be about the only way to increase revenue. I, for one, do not play scrath-offs. However, those that do are near religious about it. Throw in a new game and they'll gladly shell out another $10 on that "New One." Maybe throwing in a cell-phone app game would work also, but the legalities of payment restrictions would have to be changed. (Cash Only, no checks, debit, or credit in Georgia. There's even restrictions on getting cash back on a purchase at certain types of lottery retailers.)

            rdgrnr's avatar - walt
            Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
            United States
            Member #73904
            April 28, 2009
            14903 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: July 21, 2010, 9:53 am - IP Logged

            Hate to burst the bubble rdgrnr, but do try to exercise the statement in your signature.

            However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.  ~Winston Churchill~

            Cutting taxes does not stimulate the economy unless it is done properly. Cutting taxes to the top 2% increases the deficit and provides no economic stimulus at all. Check past results and you'll see. Tax cuts to the middle class stimulates the economy. The economic downturn is a Catch-22 situation. People scared of losing their job don't spend, it puts others out of work, they can't spend and then that puts still others out. Eventually, that first group gets it too. Until people are no longer scared and actually sart spending again, it's a circular pattern into the abiss.

            By comparing cutting taxes to playing the lottery, the equivalent would be lowering the price of the games. Most current palyers would still spend the same amount and have twice the chances to win, but those that don't play until a jackpot reaches a certain amount (you know, those against the lottery, until its too good to resist) would not play any more often.

            More chances by different types of games would be about the only way to increase revenue. I, for one, do not play scrath-offs. However, those that do are near religious about it. Throw in a new game and they'll gladly shell out another $10 on that "New One." Maybe throwing in a cell-phone app game would work also, but the legalities of payment restrictions would have to be changed. (Cash Only, no checks, debit, or credit in Georgia. There's even restrictions on getting cash back on a purchase at certain types of lottery retailers.)

            You didn't burst any bubble for me or reality, Jimmy boy.

            I know all about your "tax the rich, tax him, tax her, tax them, tax everybody but me" strategy.

            Doesn't hold water, wishful thinking seldom does.

            But go right ahead believing moveon and George Soros and the Huffington Post and Hollywood pundits and Keith Olbermann and the lamestream press.

            Yes, go ahead and enjoy your Kool-Aid thinking that punishing the sector that provides the jobs is the way to go.

            Enjoy your dementia while you can because November is coming fast and this nightmare your crowd is putting us through will be cut short.

            And then it will be ended completely in 2012.


                                                         
                                 
                                                     

             

             

             

             

                                                                                                               

            "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"

                                                                                                        --Edmund Burke

             

             

              Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
              Chief Bottle Washer
              New Jersey
              United States
              Member #1
              May 31, 2000
              23277 Posts
              Online
              Posted: July 21, 2010, 10:07 am - IP Logged

              You didn't burst any bubble for me or reality, Jimmy boy.

              I know all about your "tax the rich, tax him, tax her, tax them, tax everybody but me" strategy.

              Doesn't hold water, wishful thinking seldom does.

              But go right ahead believing moveon and George Soros and the Huffington Post and Hollywood pundits and Keith Olbermann and the lamestream press.

              Yes, go ahead and enjoy your Kool-Aid thinking that punishing the sector that provides the jobs is the way to go.

              Enjoy your dementia while you can because November is coming fast and this nightmare your crowd is putting us through will be cut short.

              And then it will be ended completely in 2012.

              I Agree!

               

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                Avatar
                NASHVILLE, TENN
                United States
                Member #33372
                February 20, 2006
                1044 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: July 25, 2010, 2:05 pm - IP Logged

                You didn't burst any bubble for me or reality, Jimmy boy.

                I know all about your "tax the rich, tax him, tax her, tax them, tax everybody but me" strategy.

                Doesn't hold water, wishful thinking seldom does.

                But go right ahead believing moveon and George Soros and the Huffington Post and Hollywood pundits and Keith Olbermann and the lamestream press.

                Yes, go ahead and enjoy your Kool-Aid thinking that punishing the sector that provides the jobs is the way to go.

                Enjoy your dementia while you can because November is coming fast and this nightmare your crowd is putting us through will be cut short.

                And then it will be ended completely in 2012.

                I could not have responded better.  Good job, rdgrnr.  Rich poeple provide the jobs all over the world.  Tax them and they cut the number of jobs they have in order to pay "their fair share".  When the communists we have living here finally understand that concept, we can lay out a tax scheme that is fair and balanced. 

                As for Georgia Lotto, they should look to Tennessee and copy their program.  Go to RNG, pick out the combinations which will result in the least amount of payback, and post them as the "drawn" numbers.  Heck, they can even pretend they are being above-board and honest while cheating the players.