New Jersey, the first state to unveil an Internet lottery game earlier this year, is forging ahead with a second online offering in an effort to lure younger players.
Tetris, an action puzzle computer game popular in the 1980s, will officially become a lottery e-game starting today. Just like Cyber Slingo, the Internet game the New Jersey Lottery launched in February, players can buy Tetris tickets from retailers and scratch off a computer access code that enables them to play online.
The goal for players is to align block-like pieces called "Tetriminos" to form complete lines. Players can choose among 10 levels, but their skill will have no impact on whether they win. Like all lottery games, this one is strictly a game of chance. Therefore, it is not considered Internet gambling and is permitted under state and federal laws.
In fact, it is not even necessary to go online to win the lottery's Internet games. After purchasing tickets, players can simply ask the retailer to check to see if they are winners.
Tetris tickets cost $3 each. The largest prize is $10,000.
Lottery officials have high hopes for the success of Tetris. The lottery version of Slingo, a takeoff on another popular computer game, exceeded their expectations, said Foster Krupa, the lottery's marketing manager.
Sales of Cyber Slingo have reached $12 million since its inception, said William Jourdain, the lottery's acting executive director.
Jordain said the lottery hopes to offer two or three Internet games a year. It is part of an effort to expand the lottery's offerings and attract the under-40 player.
"People who grew up with Tetris are now in their 20s and 30s," Krupa said. "And we wanted a product that would be interesting to the younger player."