|Posted: March 22, 2006, 2:31 pm - IP Logged|
Texas lottery officials are working behind the scenes to add Powerball to their game lineup. If approved, Texas would be first state to have both jackpot games.
Before you vote, consider the following:
Lottery Chairman C. Tom Crowe Jr. is pushing the idea. He is upset that large numbers of Texas gamblers drive to NM, LA and OK to buy Powerball tickets. He seemed particularly upset recently when the PB jackpot grew to $365 million, compared to a much lower MegaMillions jackpot.
Crowe, who has been a member of the TLC forever, voted for MegaMillions in 2003, rejecting Powerball because it would conflict with Texas Lotto on Wednesday and Saturday. He approved moving Texas Two-Step from Tuesday and Thursday to Monday and Friday so it wouldn't compete with MegaMillions.
MegaMillions sales are well below expectations.
Two-Step, a pick 4/45+1/35 replaced the former Texas Millions game. Crowe voted for Texas Millions, instead of the standard pick 4 daily game. Texas Millions was a $2, pick 4/99 game. It failed. Sales of Two-Step tickets are declining.
Crowe voted to change the Cash 5 pick 5/39 to pick 5/37 to increase revenues. He also voted to make Cash 5 a daily game. Lottery officials have run specials to increase lagging Cash 5 sales. The game is in decline.
Crowe approved adding 4-balls to the successful Texas Lotto 6/50 game. He believed the change would increase revenue. It failed. He later approved adoption of the current Pick 5/44+1/44 bonus ball to replace the failing Pick 6/54 game. It failed. He recently voted to cancel the Lotto bonus ball game and return to the Pick 6/54 format with much smaller secondary prizes. Players are not happy.
One will have to look hard and deep to find anything Crowe has done to improve the Texas lottery. The only item that stands out is approval of a mid-day Pick 3 game.
Most of the discussion on getting Powerball to Texas has been conducted in closed sessions, but indications are that other MegaMillions directors are not cooperating. It's unknown what Powerball officials think.
So, given Crowe's record of consistent failure, I voted NO. There is no way both jackpot games will be played in Texas, or any other state.