The California Lottery has announced that it broke through the $5bn sales barrier, in the 2013/14 fiscal year; the first time it has done so in its history, and the fifth consecutive year that sales have increased in the state.
Californians might believe that poker is a game of luck, that has the propensity to turn normal folk into stark raving mad gambling addicts, but that hasn’t stopped them spending over $5bn on the Lottery – another game of luck that seems to be quite addictive to members of the Golden State.
It’s the fifth year that California Lottery sales have increased. Sales were up 13% on the previous record-breaking year, following increases in Scratchers, significant growth in Mega Millions sales, and the first year that Powerball joined the fray.
The increase in sales has been attributed to several new rules that were introduced earlier this year. They include an additional $1 optional payment allowing players to expand their secondary prize total to between $1m and $5m, boosting the starting jackpot from $12m to $15m, and allowing the jackpot to rise by a minimum of $5m, between draws, when a jackpot is not claimed. The Lottery reported $22m in prizes that went unclaimed during the record year.
The Californian school system continues to benefit from the addiction to all things lottery. It was the 14th consecutive year that over a billion dollars was ploughed into the school system.
“The idea is that people are going to buy more quickly when they can win more money,” The Assistant Deputy Director of the Californian Lottery, Alex Traverso, told the LA Times
The California Lottery will point to the three year Strategic Growth Plan, launched at the turn of the fiscal year, as the primary reason behind the success. The introduction of the $20 Scratchers ticket, upgraded Second Chance Program, player loyalty program, an expanded Hot Spot game, the introduction of Powerball, Social Media campaigns, and the aforementioned higher starting jackpot amounts, all proving to be successful.
The Powerball jackpot reached $590m, earlier in the year. The Mega Millions still holds the record for the largest ever jackpot payout when in March 2012 one lucky punter won $656m.