Lottery ticket sales have increased an average of 30 percent since Texas joined the multistate lottery Mega Millions two weeks ago, state officials said Thursday.
But the increase accompanied an advertising push to promote the new game. Lottery officials cautioned that more time is needed to determine the long-term impact of Mega Millions on existing games.
The two-week revenue on overall lottery ticket sales increased from an average of $56 million before Mega Millions to $65 million during the past two weeks, said Liz Jambor, marketing research manager for the Texas Lottery Commission.
Texans spent an average of $2.9 million since Dec. 3 on each of the four Mega Millions drawings, which take place on Tuesdays and Fridays, said Robert Tirloni, the commission's online products manager.
Lotto Texas and Texas Two Step sales apparently suffered from Mega Millions' popularity. The introduction of Mega Millions coincided with a 19-percent drop in weekly ticket sales for each game when compared to their earlier averages, Jambor said.
Reagan E. Greer, executive director of the lottery commission, said the decrease in sales for Lotto Texas -- the state's only jackpot-driven game before the introduction of Mega Millions -- was within the benchmarks that the commission had expected.
"Lotto Texas is holding, and we're pleased about that," he said.
The commission is more concerned about Texas Two Step, a game that provides players with higher odds of winning but lower payoffs.
The game's average weekly sales dropped to $936,091 during the past two weeks, down from its $1.5 million average before Mega Millions began.
Greer told the commission that his staff is considering a proposal to shift the Texas Two Step draw days to Mondays and Thursdays to prdvent direct competition with Mega Millions drawings.
Jambor said that the two-week report is too premature to identify trends associated with the new game.
"This is simply a snapshot in time so that we can report how Mega Millions is doing and how the other games are responding to it," she said.
Texas joined Virginia, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Washington for its first Mega Millions drawing on Dec. 5.
Multistate lottery games like Mega Millions and Powerball are designed to generate jackpots into the hundreds of millions dollars, creating a frenzy of ticket purchases across the country. Participating states get a cut of the tickets sold within their borders.
No players from the 11 participating states hit the $71 million jackpot on Tuesday, resulting in a jackpot surge to an estimated $85 million for Friday's drawing, officials said.
The Lotto Texas jackpot is also on the upswing, with an estimated jackpot of $27 million for its Saturday drawing.
Tom Clowe, chairman of the three-member Texas Lottery Commission, said he is interested to see how players will react when the jackpot-driven games return to their starting amounts.
"We're in uncharted waters here, and we're going to see how these games affect each other in the players' minds, which is what's really important," he said.