Apr 17, 2007, 7:39 pm
A new Pick 10 game is also on the way
For the first time in its 33-year history, the Ohio Lottery plans to hold Sunday drawings.
Adding Sunday drawings to the daily Pick 3, Pick 4 and Rolling Cash 5 games will mean additional sales of $26 million to $34 million next year, with increased profits of $10.9 million to $14.3 million, lottery director Mike Abouserhal said at a Commissioners meeting in March.
Commission members were briefed on the specifics of the new draws at the April 16 commission meeting. The approval of the commissioners isn't required for Sunday drawings, spokeswoman Mardele Cohen said.
Gov. Ted Strickland, a Democrat and Methodist minister elected in November, approved the plan for Sunday drawings, Abouserhal said. He said the lottery has traditionally sold lottery tickets and cashed winning tickets on Sunday and was only adding drawings.
"The governor is aware that this brings Ohio in line with our neighboring states," Strickland spokesman Keith Dailey said. Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and Pennsylvania have Sunday lottery drawings but West Virginia does not.
Rev. Rebecca Tollefson, executive director of the Ohio Council of Churches representing 17 Christian denominations, said it was sad that the lottery was extending drawings to a traditional day of worship.
"It goes against the grain of everything we stand for," she said from Columbus. "It's sad that the lottery folks feel they have to go to Sunday when so many people regard that as a Sabbath day."
The lottery hopes to begin Sunday drawings by May.
The lottery also announced plans for a new game, Pick 10, in which bettors pick 10 of 80 numbers and the lottery selects 20 winning numbers. A player would win by matching between five and 10 of the selected numbers or matching no selected numbers.
The game, to be drawn midday and evenings daily, would have a top prize of $500,000 and a 1 in 9.05 overall chance of winning.
"To increase sales, the Ohio Lottery has to appeal to players," Abouserhal explained. "You do that by keeping your product line fresh, offering variety and periodically updating your offering of games. We look to our players and all Ohioans for their support of these initiatives."
Sunday drawings are the norm among U.S. lotteries, with 79 percent of U.S. lotteries currently conducting Sunday drawings.
The Ohio Lottery has set its focus on its draw game product mix, as sales in this market segment have remained relatively flat. Draw game sales increased approximately 1 percent from Fiscal Year 2005 to Fiscal Year 2006, compared to a 5 percent increase for instant games.
Pick 10 draws are expected to generate between $10.5 million and $12.5 million in sales; and $4.4 million to $5.2 million in profit in Fiscal Year 2008. The Ohio Lottery is looking at a potential August 2007 launch date.
Sales & Profit estimates for new initiatives
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