Apparently, Georgians don't have as much change to spare as lottery officials had hoped.
The Change Game - a Georgia Lottery contest that lets people wager their spare coins on several daily drawings - will be discontinued at the end of this month, officials said Tuesday.
"The Georgia Lottery Corporation is constantly evaluating our products, our games," said spokesman J.B. Landroche. "It was determined that the Change Game was not a good fit for the Georgia Lottery's line of products."
Landroche said there are no immediate plans to introduce a new game to replace it.
The Change Game allows players to bet anywhere from 25 cents to 99 cents on a ticket. With the average American handling $600 in change a year - or about $1.65 a day - lottery officials were betting people would be willing to part with their spare coins.
"Coins are just something that Americans don't know what to do with," former lottery president Rebecca Paul said when the game was introduced in 2002.
Each computer-generated ticket has a combination of six letters and numbers, such as A1234B.
The game was easily the lowest-seller among the Georgia Lottery's games, and sales dropped dramatically in its second year.
During the first nine months of fiscal year 2002, the game earned $6.3 million. During the same period in 2003-04, it earned about $790,000 - a drop-off of 87.5 percent.
By comparison, the next lowest-selling game, Quick Cash, sold $35.7 million in tickets during the first nine months of fiscal 2003 and Mega Millions sold $135.5 million.
"Certainly, one of the things we looked at was the performance of the game," Landroche said. "In evaluating what the performance was, it was decided that we could refocus our efforts elsewhere."
As sales dropped, the Change Game's three daily payouts dropped with them, making the game less attractive to players.
The last Change Game drawing will be Wednesday, June 30. Players who have won will still have 180 days after the drawing to claim their winnings, Landroche said.
Proceeds from Georgia's lottery have grown every year since it began in 1993, earning $2.45 billion last year.
The lottery funds education, including the state's popular HOPE scholarship, which pays tuition and book fees for Georgia students who attend in-state colleges and universities.
This year, Georgia lawmakers tweaked the scholarship, freezing some fee payments in fears that HOPE costs could one day grow higher than lottery receipts.
In September, Paul - the lottery's president since its inception - and other lottery officials left to help start up a new lottery in Tennessee.