A new marketing strategy designed to keep games fresh and payoffs healthy helped send sales of the Kansas Lottery to record levels, officials said Thursday.
Sales topped $202.9 million for fiscal year 2003, which ended June 30, an increase of $12.9 million from the previous year. As a result, the Kansas Lottery transferred $62.9 million to the state, of which $50 million was transferred to the state gaming fund to finance economic development initiatives.
For the year, the lottery paid $107.6 million in prizes and $11.7 million to ticket retailers.
Ed Van Petten, executive director of the lottery, said the record year was a result of a new marketing strategy and changes approved by the Legislature.
"We're trying to keep the prize payout respectable and interesting," Van Petten said. "All the gains were for our games."
In 2003, the lottery introduced 82 new instant games, which allows the player to purchase a ticket and scratch off the card to reveal prizes. Van Petten said that was an increase from the 52 new games in 2002.
Legislators also approved the way the proceeds from the lottery were transferred to the state, Van Petten said, allowing the lottery to increase the dollar value of prizes, while following statutory obligations.
Lottery sales were down by 1.5 percent for Powerball tickets, Van Petten said, despite Powerball jackpots of $314 million and $261 million. Sales of Powerball tickets totaled $52.7 million in fiscal 2003.
Gov. Kathleen Sebelius said that since 1997, eight Kansans have become millionaires through the lottery.
"We're hoping they're paying a lot of taxes by spending some that money right here in Kansas," Sebelius said, calling the additional revenue generated by the lottery in 2003 "good news."
Van Petten said partnerships with Kansas Speedway and the special game dedicated to funding National Guard scholarships and veterans' homes also kept interest in the lottery growing. A new $1 instant ticket game will be introduced next week dedicated to veterans, he said.