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Scratch tickets are boon for Ohio Lottery

Jul 1, 2004, 8:10 am

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Ohio LotteryOhio Lottery: Scratch tickets are boon for Ohio Lottery

Crystal Knox is partial to Fast Cash Bingo and Nifty Fifty, but she also likes Doubling Dollars and Wheel of Fortune. The certified nurse assistant estimates she spends up to $20 a day on scratch-off lottery tickets, usually breaking even or better.

"To me, it's easier," Knox, 37, a certified nurse's assistant, said of her preference for instant tickets over games like Super Lotto. "The odds are better."

Citing high growth in sales of instant games, the Ohio Lottery said Wednesday it earned $10 million more than projected this fiscal year, a slight bonus for schools down the road.

The lottery says it will transfer about $648 million to the Department of Education, up from an estimated $638 million for the fiscal year ending Wednesday.

By law, the surplus goes into a fund the Education Department can tap in years when lottery profits fall below estimates, said department spokesman J.C. Benton.

Sales of scratch-off tickets were about $1.17 billion, an increase of $77 million or 7.1 percent, the lottery said.

The lottery sold about $191.7 million in Mega Millions tickets, an increase over last year of about $16 million, or 9 percent. Lottery spokeswoman Mardele Cohen cited higher jackpots and two winners from Ohio, which improved sales.

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