Powerball revenues higher than expected

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(Host) State lottery officials say they’re very pleased with the performance of PowerBall in Vermont over the past six months. Tickets sales are higher than projections, largely due to several huge jackpots.

VPR’s Bob Kinzel reports.

(Kinzel) According to Lottery Director Alan Yandow, when the Powerball jackpot exceeds $100 million, a lot of people are drawn to the game. This week the jackpot is over $200 million.

These huge jackpots are one of the key reasons why state officials wanted to have Vermont join the multi-state lottery game. Vermont joined PowerBall in July and Yandow says the game has proven to be very popular with Vermonters:

(Yandow) “It’s a bit over what our weekly average needed to be in order to hit our $3.2 million net figure to the Education Fund. And with this particular draw right here in this run, we’re doing very well and increasing those sales.”

(Kinzel) Yandow says Powerball has cut into the sales of the Megabucks game by about 25 precent. But he says this figure is consistent with projections that the Lottery made to lawmakers last winter.

There were also some concerns about the marketing campaign of the Powerball game but Yandow says this hasn’t become an issue because Vermont has the ability to control the kinds of ads that are run in the state:

(Yandow) “We do our Powerball ads the same as we do our Megabucks and any other ads. It’s down to our advertising standards, it’s the same standards for both games and we have a ‘play responsibly message’ with PowerBall as well as everything else. So our ads are geared to the same sort of type of ad as we have done before.”

(Kinzel) Based on the results of the first six months of the fiscal year, Yandow estimates that the lottery will contribute roughly $19 million to the state’s Education fund this year – that’s an increase of almost 20 percent over last year.

For Vermont Public Radio, I’m Bob Kinzel in Montpelier.

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