CLEVELAND, Ohio — A $50 instant lottery ticket may be in the future, say Ohio Lottery officials buoyed by the success of the agency's first $30 instant ticket.
"The next step in the lottery world is the $50 ticket," lottery director Dennis Berg told lottery commission members at a recent meeting. "We have talked about it here and there are conflicting opinions. Logically it is the next price point, but we do not know when it will happen."
Texas appears to be the only state with a $50 ticket, made available by the Texas Lottery in 2007. Each of its two current $50 instant ticket options offer three $7.5 million prizes. The next prize level is $10,000.
To celebrate its 40th anniversary, the Ohio Lottery debuted the $30 scratch-off ticket in January — the most expensive and offering the largest instant prize in Ohio Lottery history. Five $10 million prizes ($400,000 annually for 25 years) 35 $1 million prizes ($40,000 annually for 25 years) will be awarded.
Sales of the $30 ticket from Jan. 12 through April 19 were $71.9 million, officials said, representing 17 percent of all instant ticket sales. Sales have grown each week. The ticket's success has helped the lottery's overall instant ticket sales, which account for more than half of sales.
Instant ticket sales had been declining for a variety of reasons, including the new racinos and casinos and consumers shopping at big-box stores that don't typically offer lottery games, officials said.
Instant ticket sales in March of $142.3 million were $15.9 million higher than March, 2013 and the highest ever recorded for that month in the lottery history, officials told commission members. It was all due to the $30 ticket.
The lottery currently sells $1, $2, $3, $5, $10 and $20 tickets. The $10 and $20 tickets have traditionally sold well, officials said.
Lottery officials also hope to boost sales with a new app that eliminates the need for players to fill out paper playslips. Beginning Monday, the e-playslip app is available for smartphones. Players choose numbers or have them picked automatically, save them and create a QR code. A retailer scans the code and prints out the ticket.
Only Idaho and Montana have similar apps, officials said.