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New Tennessee Lottery hasn't hurt Kentucky ticket sales yet

Tennessee LotteryTennessee Lottery: New Tennessee Lottery hasn't hurt Kentucky ticket sales yet

The new Tennessee Lottery, for now, doesn't seem to be hurting the games in surrounding states.

Kentucky and at least two other states are reporting increases in lottery sales over the period last year despite increased border competition.

That may change, however, once Tennessee starts selling Powerball tickets later this year.

Lotteries in Kentucky, Georgia and Virginia all have experienced higher ticket sales since Tennessee launched its lottery Jan. 20 with four scratch-off games.

Although Kentucky experienced a $4,000 dip in sales during the Tennessee games' first week, sales in the Bluegrass State surged by more than $1million in the week of Feb.8 compared with last year's period.

It's an increase that Kentucky officials don't expect to last.

"Over time we expect those numbers to deteriorate by as much as ... $75million (a year)," spokesman Chip Polston said.

In Georgia, the lottery sold more than $62million in tickets for the week ending Feb. 8 besting the same week last year by about $1.2million, spokesman J.B. Landroche said.

"That was our highest sales week in over a year and a half," he said.

In Virginia, sales for the week ended Feb. 8 increased by more than $5million over last year, with ticket sales along the Tennessee border jumping by about $500,000, spokesman Ed Scarborough said.

Scarborough said some of that increase may have come from hype surrounding the start of the Tennessee games. "The talk at the water coolers about the Tennessee Lottery may have spilled over to us," he said.

Lotteries in bordering states had one advantage over the games in Tennessee participation in one of the two high-jackpot multistate games. But that will change this summer, especially as far as Kentucky is concerned.

Tennessee Lottery officials announced yesterday that they will offer Powerball by early summer, and begin selling tickets for their own pingpong-ball-style drawing March 1.

Members of the Tennessee Education Lottery Corp. board of directors voted unanimously to join the 24-state Powerball, an Iowa-based game with a jackpot that has risen as high as $315million.

Board members chose Powerball over Mega Millions, a 10-state game based in Atlanta that Tennessee Lottery chief Rebecca Paul helped set up while director of the Georgia Lottery.

Two states bordering Tennessee Kentucky and Missouri already participate in Powerball, in which drawings are held every Wednesday and Saturday nights.

Louisville Courier Journal

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