OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - October 7, 2005
Next Wednesday, Oklahomans will get the opportunity to do what thousands of lottery players in 40 other U.S. lottery jurisdictions do every day: buy scratch-off lottery tickets for a chance to win money instantly.
“When most people think of winning the lottery, they think of the huge jackpots associated with the Powerball game,” said Jim Scroggins, executive director of the Oklahoma Lottery. “And while jackpot fever is something to behold, the popularity of instant scratch-off games with today’s consumer is undeniable.”
In Fiscal Year 2005, instant ticket sales accounted for about 55 percent of total U.S. lottery sales. In a number of states, including Texas, instant games accounted for better than 50 percent of total lottery sales. In neighboring Missouri and Colorado, scratch-off games accounted for more 60 percent of total lottery sales in Fiscal 2005.
Convenience stores and supermarkets will comprise the lion’s share of the Oklahoma Lottery retailer network at start-up. At participating convenience stores, scratch-off games will be found near checkout counters. Participating supermarkets will sell the games from customer service centers as well as self-service vending machines located either near store entrances or their exit doors.
The reasons for America’s fascination with these fast-action paper products are numerous. For starters, instant games are simple to play. After purchasing the desired number of tickets and reviewing the play instructions on the ticket facing, players, using the edge of a coin, remove a protective coating that conceals the winning and non-winning numbers and prize amounts. Players winning prizes up to $600 can redeem their winning tickets at any participating lottery retailer across the state. For prizes of more than $600, players must fill out a claim form and either take or mail the completed form with the winning ticket to lottery headquarters.
Instant games are also popular with consumers because they can be designed around different themes (i.e., money, cards, state-specific, holiday, seasonal) using different, and sometimes very clever, game names. There are also several ways to play and win the games. A wide array of prizes – some large, some small, and some in between – can be won from one game to the next.
“This variety is what helps the product reach out to all kinds of consumers,” said Scroggins. Instant games can also have different purchase prices. Oklahoma’s first four scratch-off games, in fact, will be sold for $1, $2 and $5. One of the product’s most appealing attributes is that they let players know instantly (hence how the product gets its name) whether they have won a prize. Odds of winning are also better than the games that offer mega-million-dollar jackpots.
“Lottery players like both instant and online games, but they do so for very different reasons. What we know about the instant game is that it appeals to consumers who want to know instantly if they have won,” said Scroggins. “Clearly, the instant scratch-off game, better than any other lottery product, does that.
“It has been a remarkable growth product for the U.S. lottery industry, in general, since the early 1990s, and we certainly believe Oklahomans will enjoy playing the games just as players in other states have enjoyed them for years.”