War Dampens Indiana's Hope of International Lottery

Apr 6, 2004, 4:00 am (7 comments)

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Indiana's hopes of joining an international lottery -- boasting prizes as big as $500 million -- have become a casualty of war.

Indiana was one of about 30 states and several foreign nations jockeying to organize the international game, which was expected to begin this year with one drawing each week.

But talks of the game have stalled because several European nations have withdrawn, citing concerns about U.S. involvement in the Iraq war, Hoosier Lottery Director Jack Ross said.

"They felt they couldn't get involved in an international game when they were seriously in conflict with (U.S.) military policy," said Ed Stanek, chief executive officer of the Iowa Lottery Authority and chairman of the international game group.

"We were just about to put the train on the rails when this all occurred."

Indiana's General Assembly voted in 2002 to let the state join an international lottery. With top prizes expected to be twice as large as Powerball jackpots, organizers expected that ticket sales would skyrocket, Ross said.

But after the eight European nations backed out of the game, Australia and several other countries also decided not to participate, Stanek and Ross said. Other nations thought there could be a disproportionate prize distribution to U.S. players because so many of the tickets would be bought in the United States, Stanek said.

"They felt it was important to have Europe in it. Some felt that if this is going to be a world lottery game, it ought to be more than English-speaking countries," Ross said.

Ross questioned whether the market for the multinational game still exists. Euro Millions, a European lottery game played in Great Britain, France and Spain, was launched in February.

But Stanek is still optimistic and said his group would continue to pursue an international lottery.

"We haven't given up on the idea," he said.

Officials at the Multi-State Lottery Association, which would have operated the game, declined to comment on its status.

Indianapolis Star



Because of the currency difference within all the proposed nations, how much would the lottery ticket be? $1 USD is not equal to $1 Australian dollar, etc.... so, in some countries they would have to pay an amount that is not rounded off to the nearest whole dollar?

Also, I wounder what number ranges they would of had? 1-100 for the first five balls and 1-100 for the bonous/mega ball?

Todd's avatarTodd

The way Euro Millions does it (because they have different currencies involved) is that the standard price is set at 2 Euros.  Both France and Spain use this price, but the UK sells the tickets in Pounds.  Every month the UK has the option of adjusting the price (currently 1.50 Pounds).

On the prize side of things, only the jackpot is shared among the member countries.  For the lower-tier prizes, each country awards their own prize amounts, based on sales within the country, plus the number of winners (pari-mutuel).

weshar75's avatarweshar75

I think that MSLA should be trying to fix Powerball into a 500+ million dollar game.  Instead of trying to get an international game going they should improve the powerball game to the highest jackpots possible.  Raise the minimums to 2 dollars a play and make the multiplier an extra dollar a play.  Get rid of that stupid match 5 bonus cap and let the jackpots go through the roof and raise the odds for the game again since their will be at least two more states by the end of this year.  Also start the game at 20 million dollars.  Make Powerball better first!  314.9 million isn't very close to 500 million!

twisted's avatartwisted

I would be as happy winning $500 million dollars as I would be $300 million.  I dont know.  Anything above a $100 million dollars is good enough for me.  They dont need to change the powerball rules. 

Jake649's avatarJake649

As much as large jackpots are fun, they are not good for individual players. As it stands now, the Mega Millions and Powerball games have a very poor expected value. To achieve a slightly reasonable expected value, they have to be played as a member of a large group and only when jackpots are large.

If they double the odds, the players will be worse off.

Good luck,

Todd's avatarTodd

Personally, I think the games are doing great now.  To me there is no magic about the $500 million mark.  I agree with twisted - $100 million is when the fun really begins.  (Although I wouldn't mind taking home a $10 million jackpot either!)

Quote: Originally posted by weshar75 on April 06, 2004

Get rid of that stupid match 5 bonus cap

Seeing as how the match 5 bonus has never been in effect, how can you say it's stupid?


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