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Skyrocketing scratch-off sales indicate lotto players are resilient

May 14, 2020, 2:08 pm

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By Kate Northrop

While ticket sales and jackpots are down for draw games like Powerball and Mega Millions, Americans have no problem finding entertainment in other lottery alternatives.

Vendors have been selling tickets for multi-state games during stay-at-home orders, but customers are understandably reluctant to take the time to pick out numbers and hand cash to attendants while making essential shopping trips. Instead, quick buys like scratch-off tickets make great substitutions for the level of enjoyment draw games offer.

Cornell University business professor David Just, who competed a study on lottery purchases earlier this year, found that scratch-off tickets enable immediate gratification, as opposed to draw games that require more planning, interaction, and delayed benefit.

"When we feel a loss, we become much more willing to take a risk to regain what we had," he said.

According to Just, most players don't actually play the draw lotteries like Powerball and Mega Millions until the jackpots reach a significant amount, but scratch-off games have brought players and states alike some good luck.

Quite a few states have reported increased sales this month compared to the same time last year. For example, Oklahoma saw extraordinary sales increases for the week ending April 25, with total lottery sales just over $7.7 million. That is 75% higher compared to the same time last year, driven almost entirely by scratch-offs. Scratch-offs contributed nearly $5.9 million to that total, up from $2.5 million last year.

Jay Finks, the marketing director for the Oklahoma Lottery, cited various reasons for the increase, such as a new $20 scratch-off ticket introduced in December and the expansion of lottery sales into 7-Eleven stores in February. Contrary to an initial decline in sales at the start of the coronavirus outbreak, Finks also attributed an increased demand for gaming to successful lottery sales. "People are looking for things to do. People can't gamble on sports, can't watch sports, can't go to casinos, can't go to movies," he said.

As some states gear toward re-opening businesses, other non-scratch-off lottery sales are finally seeing some much-needed relief as well. According to Brad Bohannon, the Georgia Lottery Corp.'s vice president for government relations, the Georgia lottery saw its highest sales week of the year from April 26 to May 2. April sales were up $7.4 million, or 1.8%, over April of last year. The lottery is reporting increases for all product lines, not just scratch-offs.

"While most other forms of entertainment were limited, April sales rebounded extremely well," Bohannon said. "We feel very confident we'll be able to show another increase in May."

These figures bode well for the HOPE Scholarship program and Zell Miller Scholarship, funds that provide tuition for students in Georgia. After the fiscal year ends on June 30, the lottery projects that it will transfer $1.13 billion to education programs.

The Georgia Lottery Corp. is planning on re-opening its offices around the state by appointment only to distribute prizes to winners.

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18 comments. Last comment 9 days ago by db101.
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Unlucky-Kenny's avatar - Cigar B1.gif
HUDSON, WI
United States
Member #202058
November 7, 2019
772 Posts
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Posted: May 14, 2020, 3:20 pm - IP Logged

""When we feel a loss, we become much more willing to take a risk to regain what we had -"

Well I lose every day so explains why I buy another ticket the next day LOL

*

 "Skyrocketing scratch-off sales indicate lotto players are resilient"

Not resilient - just stubborn  LOL

*

"The lottery is reporting increases for all product lines, not just scratch-offs."

Tell that to PB and MM.

    Avatar
    Chasing $ Millions.
    White Shores- California
    United States
    Member #136473
    December 12, 2012
    6147 Posts
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    Posted: May 14, 2020, 6:16 pm - IP Logged

    ""When we feel a loss, we become much more willing to take a risk to regain what we had -"

    Well I lose every day so explains why I buy another ticket the next day LOL

    *

     "Skyrocketing scratch-off sales indicate lotto players are resilient"

    Not resilient - just stubborn  LOL

    *

    "The lottery is reporting increases for all product lines, not just scratch-offs."

    Tell that to PB and MM.

    True Story Kenny. A store keeper moved he's business from where he had been renting for a good 10 years due to the landlord raising the rent on him. Said he had had enough & moved to a spot closer to American high school. Within a week of the move, a customer purchases a $30 scratch off ticket & wins $10 million. In talking to the store owner he said " l worked my ** off at my last outpost & never had such luck, l should have moved from that spot years ago." I said, it don't work that way but congrats. 

    David Just could also be describing a love affair here.." When we feel a loss * being dumped or you dumped someone- we become much more willing to take a risk * get back in the dating game- to regain what we had."

    Art imitating life. Ain't life grand! Cool

     * Voice of Reason *   

     

    People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it- George Bernard Shaw.

      Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
      100
      Zeta Reticuli Star System
      United States
      Member #30469
      January 17, 2006
      11476 Posts
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      Posted: May 14, 2020, 10:28 pm - IP Logged

      From the OP.

      Cornell University business professor David Just, who competed a study on lottery purchases earlier this year, found that scratch-off tickets enable immediate gratification, as opposed to draw games that require more planning, interaction, and delayed benefit.

      ////////////////////////////////////////

      I've often wondered how many players that play scratch offs are extreme type As. Not all, but the ones that have to know right now. And we all have seen the types who get a scratch off, place it up against the window of the machine to scratch ot and 'bogart' the machine. 

      Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any. So many systems, so many theories, so few jackpot winners. 

      Lep

      There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.

        Unlucky-Kenny's avatar - Cigar B1.gif
        HUDSON, WI
        United States
        Member #202058
        November 7, 2019
        772 Posts
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        Posted: May 15, 2020, 12:13 am - IP Logged

        True Story Kenny. A store keeper moved he's business from where he had been renting for a good 10 years due to the landlord raising the rent on him. Said he had had enough & moved to a spot closer to American high school. Within a week of the move, a customer purchases a $30 scratch off ticket & wins $10 million. In talking to the store owner he said " l worked my ** off at my last outpost & never had such luck, l should have moved from that spot years ago." I said, it don't work that way but congrats. 

        David Just could also be describing a love affair here.." When we feel a loss * being dumped or you dumped someone- we become much more willing to take a risk * get back in the dating game- to regain what we had."

        Art imitating life. Ain't life grand! Cool

        Wow!

        I wonder what his store cut on that $10 mil was - that raised rent was the best thing to happen to him! 

        LOL

        Everything is a risk a guess!

        Cool

          GiveFive's avatar - Lottery-026.jpg
          NY State
          United States
          Member #92605
          June 10, 2010
          4638 Posts
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          Posted: May 15, 2020, 7:06 am - IP Logged

          Here in New York I haven't seen a huge drop off in sales of online games.  To be sure, the size of daily Take5 jackpots are down, but not as much as you might expect them to be.  Pre-pandemic, they were running in the high fifty thousands and lately they have been in the low fifty thousands.  I've been watching the Florida Lottery's Fantasy 5 web page, and I did not see an appreciable drop off in the dollar amount of daily jackpots being won at all.

          As for people being reluctant to spend extra time picking numbers while shopping for essentials, I dunno about that.  Players can always complete a playslip/betslip at home prior to going into a store.  (That's what I do. My numbers have been picked long before I even drive into a store's parking lot) But if players really don't want to spend extra time in stores picking their numbers, then they can just buy a quick pick. G5

          Players who've won large lottery jackpots have something in common. Many of them say "I've played the lottery for years, but I never won anything but small prizes."   That's normal or typical, but it's also why you should not get discouraged and stop playing.  Who knows?  Maybe someday you'll say "I've played the lottery for years...."

            Avatar
            Chasing $ Millions.
            White Shores- California
            United States
            Member #136473
            December 12, 2012
            6147 Posts
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            Posted: May 15, 2020, 2:13 pm - IP Logged

            Wow!

            I wonder what his store cut on that $10 mil was - that raised rent was the best thing to happen to him! 

            LOL

            Everything is a risk a guess!

            Cool

            Didn't ask the store keeper what he's cut was Kenny. I think that's personal, l mean even a panhandler never asks " how much do you have in your pocket?" Approve

             * Voice of Reason *   

             

            People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it- George Bernard Shaw.

              Unlucky-Kenny's avatar - Cigar B1.gif
              HUDSON, WI
              United States
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              November 7, 2019
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              Posted: May 15, 2020, 3:23 pm - IP Logged

              Didn't ask the store keeper what he's cut was Kenny. I think that's personal, l mean even a panhandler never asks " how much do you have in your pocket?" Approve

              Oh no - I wouldn't ask either - Just know that state by state they have a matrix for when x is won then store gets x -

              I am sure he got at least $20 Cool

                Avatar
                Chattanooga, TN
                United States
                Member #74192
                May 5, 2009
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                Posted: May 15, 2020, 8:06 pm - IP Logged

                For most people, gas stations remained open. So access to lottery was not cut off. Seems logical that even in difficult times, as long as there is access people will still buy. They expect gambling fools like me to be scared of a virus while the other man is collecting my millions!!!! Hopefully with a mask on and hands properly sanitized. I hate this whole virus thing BTW...

                  greatguy's avatar - peace
                  Cali
                  United States
                  Member #198167
                  May 13, 2019
                  91 Posts
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                  Posted: May 16, 2020, 12:23 am - IP Logged

                  Within my 8 mile options(Eminem), it's getting thinned out quick in North Orange County,Cali'.

                  Most over the counter Liquor stores that make you pick a Number,

                  are running low. The Vending Machines here are O-U-T of Cards or Out of Order. Humm

                   

                  Gg~Keep the Peace Patriot

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                    Kentucky
                    United States
                    Member #32651
                    February 14, 2006
                    8901 Posts
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                    Posted: May 16, 2020, 7:55 am - IP Logged

                    Not sure if sales are rising because lottery players are resilient or because they got stimulus checks. My bet is on the latter. MM and PB were due for a sales drop regardless of why they changed how they estimate jackpots. Be interesting when annual reports come out to see which games players are buying with money they were spending on MM and PB. 

                    Mister we could use a man like Herbert Hoover again

                      db101's avatar - RB55Ms1

                      United States
                      Member #202923
                      December 14, 2019
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                      Posted: May 16, 2020, 10:50 am - IP Logged

                      Not sure if sales are rising because lottery players are resilient or because they got stimulus checks. My bet is on the latter. MM and PB were due for a sales drop regardless of why they changed how they estimate jackpots. Be interesting when annual reports come out to see which games players are buying with money they were spending on MM and PB. 

                      I bet you're right about the stimulus checks.

                        Avatar
                        Simpsonville
                        United States
                        Member #163184
                        January 22, 2015
                        2167 Posts
                        Online
                        Posted: May 18, 2020, 11:04 am - IP Logged

                        Congratulations to the NC player who just scored $10 million on a scratch ticket---highest in NC history; he got $4.2 million after taxes.    He is an ironworker and that can't be easy work!

                          Avatar
                          Chasing $ Millions.
                          White Shores- California
                          United States
                          Member #136473
                          December 12, 2012
                          6147 Posts
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                          Posted: May 18, 2020, 8:54 pm - IP Logged

                          Congratulations to the NC player who just scored $10 million on a scratch ticket---highest in NC history; he got $4.2 million after taxes.    He is an ironworker and that can't be easy work!

                          .. and to think l was passing on information about a $10mil scratcher winner in this neck of the woods Jeff. This is fortuitous, a sign- perhaps sent directly to me, informing me that since l brought up the topic less than a week ago, l could be a multimillionaire in " less than a week." I am ready to accept that burden, and will faithfully execute the responsibilities of being a kind and caring multimillionaire. I am on one knee as l complete this sentence- l am serious.Cheers

                          I continue to believe..Cool

                           * Voice of Reason *   

                           

                          People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it- George Bernard Shaw.

                            Avatar
                            Simpsonville
                            United States
                            Member #163184
                            January 22, 2015
                            2167 Posts
                            Online
                            Posted: May 19, 2020, 6:10 am - IP Logged

                            .. and to think l was passing on information about a $10mil scratcher winner in this neck of the woods Jeff. This is fortuitous, a sign- perhaps sent directly to me, informing me that since l brought up the topic less than a week ago, l could be a multimillionaire in " less than a week." I am ready to accept that burden, and will faithfully execute the responsibilities of being a kind and caring multimillionaire. I am on one knee as l complete this sentence- l am serious.Cheers

                            I continue to believe..Cool

                            Hey noise-gate...like your determined spirit.

                            Just read an article on cnn.   It says California lottery ticket not claimed.   Kind of a bait and switch, you read the article and the ticket was just sold this past Saturday.   Initially thinking it was set to expire.  Heck that wasn't news worthy to even put out there.

                            Had a deposit confirmation from the Kentucky Lottery this morning.  A whopping $3 on Lucky for Life played on-line...hey that's a Mega Millions with Megaplier ticket, right?