Lotteries discuss cross-selling, national game

Posted October 13, 2009

— America’s two biggest lottery games are talking about cross-selling tickets in U.S. lottery jurisdictions with the potential for a national lottery, the head of a lottery association said Tuesday.

Powerball is played in 31 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Mega Millions is played in 12 states. The consortium behind Mega Millions and the Urbandale, Iowa-based Multi-State Lottery Association, which runs Powerball, have agreed in principle to cross-sell tickets for both games beginning next year, officials said.

“It’s a way to increase sales and reach out to more players,” said Tom Shaheen, the president of the lottery association’s board of directors and executive director of the North Carolina Education Lottery.

The idea surfaced last year after officials noticed that when the jackpots grew, players who live in states offering Powerball would cross the border to buy tickets in another state selling Mega Millions and visa versa, Shaheen said.

Mega Millions drawings are held on Tuesdays and Fridays, while Powerball drawings are held on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

“This would be a wonderful opportunity for North Carolina players to participate in another large jackpot game,” Shaheen said in a statement. “In addition, it has the potential to increase funds raised for education.”

Cross-selling would give players the chance to buy whatever ticket they want in their home state, said Andi Brancato, a spokeswoman for the Michigan Lottery, which is a member of Mega Millions.

Shaheen said a national lottery is also in the works that would be in addition to Powerball and Mega Millions.

“If we develop a national game, it will probably be at a different price point. It might to $2. It might by $5. It will be a single game, but we haven’t worked out all the details of that yet. The other two games, I believe, would remain intact,” he said.

Cross-selling could begin in early 2010, and the organizations could begin a national lottery by next fall, said Multi-State Lottery Association executive director Chuck Strutt. The two groups will meet in the next few weeks to start working on the details, he said.

Shaheen said each state will have to decide if it wants to participate in cross-selling or join a national lottery.

Mega Millions holds the record for the largest U.S. lottery jackpot — $390 million on March 6, 2007. The largest Powerball jackpot was $365 million on Feb. 18, 2006.


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  • jon2four Oct 14, 2009

    Interesting. National Healthcare is taking money from the middle class and rich and giving it to the poor. The National Lottery is taking money from the poor and middle class and giving it to the rich(Lottery Administrators).

    Statements like this causes misconceptions about National Health Insurance. Nothing is being given to the poor, everyone is required to pay. The real problem is those who make the most pay the least

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Oct 13, 2009

    I care about National Healthcare as that will directly affect ALL Americans. The Lottery doesn't concern many as it is a choice to play or not. I've still never bought a lottery ticket and will never buy one. I would say thanks to those of you who fund the local school districts. But that's only true if you purchase tickets from the state lottery. If you're playing the national Powerball Lottery, I don't believe a dime of it goes to the school system. In that case, you are only throwing your money away to pad the pockets of lottery officials. But why should I care. Its your money to waste.

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Oct 13, 2009

    no taco pablo: "Which will come first, National Healthcare or the National Lottery..."

    Interesting. National Healthcare is taking money from the middle class and rich and giving it to the poor. The National Lottery is taking money from the poor and middle class and giving it to the rich(Lottery Administrators).

  • soul4hymn Oct 13, 2009

    You guys think you have it bad in line at the c-store...try it on the other side of the counter. lol

  • LambeauSouth Oct 13, 2009

    what no conspiricy that the National Lottery is nothing more than a means to reduce the population? IE read the book the LOTTERY,

  • no taco p Oct 13, 2009

    Which will come first, National Healthcare or the National Lottery...

  • whatelseisnew Oct 13, 2009

    "and the poor keep on getting taken in by the CHANCE of winning."

    I like that though, we are finally getting them to pay for something.

  • whatelseisnew Oct 13, 2009

    This is a different style lottery. Only other countries can buy tickets. Winners receive one State.

  • Space Mountain Oct 13, 2009

    This would just make the chances of winning less, but the money more. Plus, it's more money that the NC government can take from education and use for whatever it wants!

  • foetine Oct 13, 2009

    Now they'll have half as many chances of winning