OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – October 19, 2005
When instant ticket sales began on October 12, the Oklahoma Lottery joined 41 other U.S. jurisdictions continuing a lottery legacy that dates back nearly 400 years. Enthusiastic lottery players throughout the state began purchasing Oklahoma Lottery instant scratch-off tickets at 5:01 a.m. Central Time. By the time the first four instant games went on sale, the Lottery had shipped tickets with a retail value of $21.5 million to nearly 1,200 retail outlets in virtually every county in the state.
"We had people in their nightclothes waiting to buy at 5:01 a.m." Cantana Dixon, a clerk at the Love's Country Store at NE 122 and Interstate 35 in Oklahoma City, commented.
When Quan Tran, owner of Friendly Foods, 2029 NW 12, opened his store at 8 a.m. Wednesday, he already had a line of people outside waiting. And the excitement continued throughout the day as players flocked to the fifteen radio remote celebrations held in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Muskogee, Lawton, Enid, McAlester, Stillwater and Ardmore.
The first instant scratch-off winner in the amount of $2 was cashed at 5:07 a.m. Central Time in Enid. By early afternoon, James Glover of Oklahoma City came in to Lottery Headquarters to claim his check for $5,000. As the days passed, the winning continued.
After one week of sales, players had redeemed prizes totally $5.5 million.
Many of those were top prizes including;
“Whether it was to support education or taking a chance at big money”,
Conoco manager Bill Deal said his customer flow was up 50 percent with Wednesday's lottery launch. Other retailers shared his experience as stores were eager to replenish their stock of instant tickets. In the first week, the Oklahoma Lottery issued more than 96,000 packs of tickets to its statewide network of retailers. A breakdown of this number shows that 72,000 packs were issued during the initial allocation; another 24,000 packs have distributed in the last six days as a result of 685 new orders from retailers.
“We’re extremely pleased with our first full week of sales and very gratified to know that players are having fun and that the flow of new money for education in Oklahoma is off to a great start,” said Jim Scroggins, executive director of the Oklahoma Lottery. “Perhaps the most encouraging sign we’ve seen since the launch is that retailer reorders are strong, which suggests that our four games are being well-received by players.”
Estimated sales for the inaugural week of operations were approximately $ 12.6 million, or approximately $1.80 million per day during week one. Estimated sales are based on ticket activations and ticket pack settlements.
As specified in the Oklahoma Education Lottery Act, and approved by 64 percent of voters last November, the Oklahoma Lottery will use its net proceeds to support improvements and enhancements for educational purposes and programs at all levels – from Pre-Kindergarten to higher education.
“We are confident that the Lottery sales will meet our goal of generating $65 million in net revenue for our first fiscal year” said Scroggins. “We have now begun to make our mark, bringing important new money to education that will benefit people and programs in our state for many years to come.”