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Arizona Lottery sales hit record levels

Aug 19, 2011, 8:15 am

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Arizona LotteryArizona Lottery: Arizona Lottery sales hit record levels

People in Arizona are spending record amounts of money on lottery tickets, a sales surge that is surpassing that of other states.

In a recent national comparison of state lottery sales, Arizona ranked first out of 43 states and the District of Columbia in percentage increase from fiscal 2009 to 2010, according to the trade publication La Fleur's Magazine.

In fiscal 2011, which for Arizona ended June 30, the Lottery sold $584 million in tickets, its most ever.

However, the Arizona Lottery is small compared with those in other states such as New York and Massachusetts, each of which posts billions of dollars in sales each year. Arizona's spending per capita still is lower than most lotteries, too.

But state officials say the Arizona government needs the revenue it gets from Lottery sales even more in an era of budget cuts. They point to the changes made to make the games more enticing to players, such as improving odds of winning, selling new kinds of games and improving displays.

The Lottery also has added retailers.

The changes were especially important in the face of a weak economy that has consumers cutting their spending.

"We knew we would have to act to counteract the recession, especially in Arizona," Executive Director Jeff Hatch-Miller said. "We knew we had to really get out there and start listening more clearly to the players."

Last year, the Lottery started participating in the multistate Mega Millions jackpot game.

In 2008, it added $20 instant "scratcher" tickets to its games, which also had tickets ranging from $1 to $10. Hatch-Miller said the Lottery also made games and retailer displays more visually appealing.

In 2010, the Auditor General's Office suggested the Lottery increase the number of retailers where people could buy tickets.

It added 97 new locations that brought in an additional $2 million in sales in fiscal 2011, Deputy Director Karen Emery said.

Hatch-Miller said lottery tickets are sold in every community in Arizona at 2,800 retailers.

Also, over the past few years, Hatch-Miller said, the state Lottery improved the average odds of winning to about 69 percent from about 60 percent. More expensive tickets have slightly better-than-average odds.

"When times are tough, people need a good rate of return if they're going to play the game," Hatch-Miller said. "It's better that they play the game — even though (the state) gets a slightly smaller percentage — than they don't play it at all."

Not everyone agrees.

Steve Voeller, president of the Arizona Free Enterprise Club, a tax watchdog and free-market policy group, questions why Arizona officials deliberately encourage spending on gaming during an economic downturn.

"That's like a tobacco executive saying, 'We have to be more creative on how to get more kids smoking,' " Voeller said.

"I am all for people participating in what they want to, but I don't think the state should be in the business of running gambling to make money and especially trying to get more people hooked on this activity."

Voeller said that it's "unfortunate" that more people seem to be playing, given the shakiness of the U.S. economy.

"Maybe it's out of desperation, or they are hoping to get rich quick," Voeller said. "But the odds of winning aren't good, and it's a very expensive activity."

Hatch-Miller said he wouldn't want people to play lottery games if it might damage their economic security.

Rob Stepp of Phoenix said he usually plays the jackpot games every week he has extra cash.

"If I've got the money, I'll play," Stepp said. "But if I can't afford it, I won't."

Stepp said he doesn't play for entertainment — he wants to win. But he hasn't seen any big returns yet.

State comparison

Total lottery sales nationwide fell slightly in 2009 after years of straight growth, according to the most recent information from the U.S. Census.

Forty-three states and the District of Columbia have lotteries. For per capita sales, Arizona's relatively small lottery ranked 35th out of 44 in fiscal 2010, according to La Fleur's. But for sales growth, Arizona ranked first, increasing 14 percent from 2009 to 2010.

During that time, 28 lotteries had sales growth. Most grew 1 to 7 percent.

The beginning of the fiscal year varies among state lotteries, so the numbers don't compare exactly with the same time periods.

La Fleur's hasn't published state-by-state lottery-sales information for 2011. But the Arizona Lottery reports total sales rose 5.6 percent from fiscal 2010 to fiscal 2011.

State programs

July marked the Arizona Lottery's 30th anniversary. Since 1981, it has sold $8.5 billion in tickets.

The Lottery has given $2.7 billion to the state.

A portion of Lottery sales benefits the general fund and a variety of state programs aimed at improving community health and transit systems, protecting wildlife and developing the economy.

In fiscal 2011, of the $584 million in ticket sales, the Lottery sent a record $146 million (25 percent) to the state, $105 million of which went into the general fund.

It paid out nearly $363 million (62 percent) in prizes and $39 million (7 percent) in commissions to retailers who sell tickets. It spent the rest on operational costs.

The rising sales were welcomed by the state, Hatch-Miller said.

"Even though there was a recession and times were tough, that meant for us that the state needed that money even more," he said.

Arizona Republic

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29 comments. Last comment 10 years ago by TREND602.
Page 1 of 2
sully16's avatar - sharan
25
Ringleader
Michigan
United States
Member #81738
October 28, 2009
92725 Posts
Offline

Congrats Arizona, Hope you have some happy winners.

Hello Friends. See Ya!

    dpoly1's avatar - driver
    PA
    United States
    Member #66139
    October 16, 2008
    1998 Posts
    Offline

    Good for Arizona, I hope they are having fun!

    Sun Smiley

      rdgrnr's avatar - nw barkeep.jpg
      100
      Grand High Exalted Mystic Ruler
      The Hall Of The Mountain Kings Tennesse (East!)
      United States
      Member #73902
      April 28, 2009
      15110 Posts
      Offline

      "Voeller said that it's "unfortunate" that more people seem to be playing, given the shakiness of the U.S. economy.

      "Maybe it's out of desperation, or they are hoping to get rich quick," Voeller said. "But the odds of winning aren't good, and it's a very expensive activity."

       

      Hey Mr Voeller, here's an idea: If you think the lottery is a bad idea, don't play it.

      As for what the rest of humanity does: Mind your own friggin' business! 


                                                   
                           
                                               

       

       

       

       

                                                                                                         

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

                                                                                                  --Edmund Burke

       

       

        tiggs95's avatar - Lottery-036.jpg

        United States
        Member #47419
        November 4, 2006
        3930 Posts
        Offline

        tiggs sister lives in Surprise AZ and says the lottery stinks out there..Maybe she's not as lucky as tiggs?...She is a whole lot older then tiggs..

                                                                  Pure luck

          rdgrnr's avatar - nw barkeep.jpg
          100
          Grand High Exalted Mystic Ruler
          The Hall Of The Mountain Kings Tennesse (East!)
          United States
          Member #73902
          April 28, 2009
          15110 Posts
          Offline

          tiggs sister lives in Surprise AZ and says the lottery stinks out there..Maybe she's not as lucky as tiggs?...She is a whole lot older then tiggs..

          The only thing a "whole lot older" than you in Arizona might be a mummy in the natural history museum.


                                                       
                               
                                                   

           

           

           

           

                                                                                                             

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

                                                                                                      --Edmund Burke

           

           

            tiggs95's avatar - Lottery-036.jpg

            United States
            Member #47419
            November 4, 2006
            3930 Posts
            Offline

            The only thing a "whole lot older" than you in Arizona might be a mummy in the natural history museum.

            That'll work...

                                                                      Pure luck

              haymaker's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
              Egg Harbor twp.south Jersey shore
              United States
              Member #112963
              June 29, 2011
              4138 Posts
              Offline

              i was suprised to read that they had lottery since 81, thought they were late to the party.

              cali did't start til. 85 i think,thats why i quit playing for a couple years.

              Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds    -- Charles Mackay  LL.D.

                rdgrnr's avatar - nw barkeep.jpg
                100
                Grand High Exalted Mystic Ruler
                The Hall Of The Mountain Kings Tennesse (East!)
                United States
                Member #73902
                April 28, 2009
                15110 Posts
                Offline

                i was suprised to read that they had lottery since 81, thought they were late to the party.

                cali did't start til. 85 i think,thats why i quit playing for a couple years.

                California probably waited for the planets to be in proper alignment so Governor Moonbeam could do the Sacred Pelican Dance around Ariella Huffington's huge ass while the moon was properly lined up with Uranus and Al Gore was getting a massage from Henry Waxman atop the Four Seasons.

                Or something like that.

                Go figure.


                                                             
                                     
                                                         

                 

                 

                 

                 

                                                                                                                   

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

                                                                                                            --Edmund Burke

                 

                 

                  Jon D's avatar - calotterylogo
                  Los Angeles, California
                  United States
                  Member #103809
                  January 5, 2011
                  1530 Posts
                  Offline

                  California probably waited for the planets to be in proper alignment so Governor Moonbeam could do the Sacred Pelican Dance around Ariella Huffington's huge ass while the moon was properly lined up with Uranus and Al Gore was getting a massage from Henry Waxman atop the Four Seasons.

                  Or something like that.

                  Go figure.

                  There you go again, needlessly injecting your political whining into an unrelated thread, while at the same time maligning the people of the state of California.

                  Knock it off you prejudiced hillbilly.

                    tiggs95's avatar - Lottery-036.jpg

                    United States
                    Member #47419
                    November 4, 2006
                    3930 Posts
                    Offline

                    California probably waited for the planets to be in proper alignment so Governor Moonbeam could do the Sacred Pelican Dance around Ariella Huffington's huge ass while the moon was properly lined up with Uranus and Al Gore was getting a massage from Henry Waxman atop the Four Seasons.

                    Or something like that.

                    Go figure.

                    "Uranus and Al Gore" this says it all...

                                                                              Pure luck

                      Avatar

                      Canada
                      Member #113793
                      July 17, 2011
                      67 Posts
                      Offline

                      California probably waited for the planets to be in proper alignment so Governor Moonbeam could do the Sacred Pelican Dance around Ariella Huffington's huge ass while the moon was properly lined up with Uranus and Al Gore was getting a massage from Henry Waxman atop the Four Seasons.

                      Or something like that.

                      Go figure.

                      You're in fine form, Ridge. Big Grin

                        Avatar

                        Canada
                        Member #113793
                        July 17, 2011
                        67 Posts
                        Offline

                        "Voeller said that it's "unfortunate" that more people seem to be playing, given the shakiness of the U.S. economy.

                        "Maybe it's out of desperation, or they are hoping to get rich quick," Voeller said. "But the odds of winning aren't good, and it's a very expensive activity."

                         

                        Hey Mr Voeller, here's an idea: If you think the lottery is a bad idea, don't play it.

                        As for what the rest of humanity does: Mind your own friggin' business! 

                        I Agree!

                          imagine's avatar - WINGS

                          United States
                          Member #85044
                          January 7, 2010
                          102 Posts
                          Offline

                          I imagine these numbers are boosted by lottery lovers in Nevada and Utah crossing over state lines to play.

                            haymaker's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
                            Egg Harbor twp.south Jersey shore
                            United States
                            Member #112963
                            June 29, 2011
                            4138 Posts
                            Offline

                            California probably waited for the planets to be in proper alignment so Governor Moonbeam could do the Sacred Pelican Dance around Ariella Huffington's huge ass while the moon was properly lined up with Uranus and Al Gore was getting a massage from Henry Waxman atop the Four Seasons.

                            Or something like that.

                            Go figure.

                            george deukmejian (hope i spelled that right)was gov. of cali from 83 to 91,think he's prolly the one that signed the law.

                            LOL uranus and algore LOL,they go together very well.LOL

                            Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds    -- Charles Mackay  LL.D.