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At age 20 Wisconsin Lottery doing well

Thanks to some big Powerball jackpots, the last two years have been good for the Wisconsin Lottery.

During fiscal year 2006, with three Powerball jackpots worth more than $200 million the lottery pulled in $509 million

Meanwhile, in fiscal 2007 there were another three Powerball jackpots over $200 million, total lottery sales were about $492.8 million.

Lottery officials, in a report filed with Legislature's Joint Finance Committee, called fiscal year 2006 an extraordinary year for Powerball sales" when there were jackpots totaling $340 million, $365 million, and $224.2 million.

In fiscal 2007, there were Powerball prizes of $208.6 million, $200.8 million, and $254 million.

According to Lottery Director Michael Edmonds, it's when the Powerball prize gets over $175 million that ticket sales begin increasing dramatically.

Edmonds also notes in his report that Saturdays are big ticket sales days when the Wednesday night drawing rolls over. To help things even more, Lottery officials say good weather also plays a roll in increased sales.

In the report sent to the Finance Committee, which recommends changes to prize payouts for this year, Lottery officials are estimating a gross revenue increase of 0.5 percent over fiscal year 2007, pushing total sales to $495.5 million and in fiscal year 2009, the estimated gross revenues are projected at $507.5 million.

In the instant scratch ticket category, the report notes sales continue to be strong for $10 and $20 tickets, but continues to decline at the $1 level, with "volatility in gas prices" negatively impacting the $1 sales.

Lottery officials are hoping to maintain sales of the daily online games by developing "strategic, short-term enhancements.

Those enhancements include a "limited time offer" for the SuperCash! Game in fiscal year 2008, and other limited time offers for games in fiscal year 2009.

The Lottery has observed a positive sales "halo effect" from such limited time offers and anticipates slow, long-term growth in daily on-line sales as a result," according to the report.