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First Tennessee Games Revealed

Dec 30, 2003, 5:30 am

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Tennessee Lottery

Tennessee lottery players may have a chance at $1 million in prize money even before the Ping-Pong balls start popping up for the state's big money drawings this spring.

Yesterday lottery President and Chief Executive Officer Rebecca Paul unveiled Tennessee Millionaire along with three other scratch-off ticket games that will go on sale in February, officially launching the drive for funding college scholarships through lottery sales.

''At about 10:30 p.m. last night, we printed our first lottery ticket,'' Paul said before announcing Tennessee Millionaire.

The lottery's instant ticket vendor Scientific Games based in New York printed the tickets in Alpharetta, Ga. Samples were driven to Nashville for a lottery board meeting yesterday morning.

For a $1 Tennessee Millionaire ticket, players have a chance to win up to $1,000 instantly by matching dollar signs.

Players who match ''entry'' symbols will have a chance to win $1 million by sending the ticket in for a special drawing.

The drawing dates depend on receiving approximately 500,000 entries, Paul said. In all, there will be three drawings in which three people each are picked.

First place wins $1 million, while second and third place winners will get $25,000 and $10,000, respectively.

The odds of landing an entry ticket are 1 in 20.

Clearly the odds of winning the $1 million are quite long.

But calculating the odds is difficult, Paul said, because it depends on how many tickets are sold and how many entries are received. She said she has introduced similar games in Georgia and Florida, lotteries she ran before coming to Tennessee. Paul said she always has trouble explaining the odds of becoming a millionaire. ''They're impossible if you don't buy a ticket,'' she joked.

Three other games unveiled yesterday offer top prizes of far less than $1 million.

" Tennessee Treasures, a $2-per-ticket game, shows scenes from around the state on ticket stubs and offers a chance to win up to $25,000. One ticket shows the Gaylord Entertainment Center in Nashville. A Beale Street picture represents Memphis.

" Lucky 7's is a $1 game played like tic-tack-toe to win up to $7,000.

" For a chance of winning up to $100,000, players can buy a $5 ticket for a game called $100,000 Jackpot.

The latter two games are standard ones used in other states over the years. Lucky 7's, for example, is sold in many states. For each of the games, 15 million to 25 million tickets have been or are being printed.

Additional games will be introduced in the weeks after the start of scratch-off ticket sales. As the lottery launch date nears, Paul told board members that a four-page insert will be placed in newspapers around the state to explain how the scratch-off games work.

''By market, we'll talk about where you can buy tickets,'' Paul said.

Steve Adams, the lottery's chief administrative officer, told the board that 3,022 retailers have been approved for selling lottery tickets. Another 1,050 are still in the pipeline.

Here's a sneak preview of the ticket designs and information about each game.

Tennessee Treasures

Cost: $2

Instant prize: Up to $25,000

Overall odds of winning a prize: 1 in 3.96

* Odds of winning top prize: 1 in 1.26 million

$100,000 Jackpot

Cost: $5

Instant prizes: Up to $100,000

Overall odds of winning a prize: 1 in 3

* Odds of winning top prize: 1 in 1.26 million

Tennessee Millionaire

Cost: $1

Instant prizes: Up to $1,000; Entry for $1 million drawing

Overall odds of winning a prize: 1 in 3.95

Odds of winning top instant prize of $1,000: 1 in 60,000

Odds of winning entry into drawing for $1 million: 1 in 20

* Odds of winning top prize: Lottery officials had no calculation for odds to win $1 million

Lucky 7's

Cost: $1

Instant prize: Up to $7,000

Overall odds of winning a prize: 1 in 4.96

* Odds of winning top prize: 1 in 780,000

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