Saturday, May 22, 1999

Record Hoosier Lotto jackpot fails to woo buyers

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LAWRENCEBURG, Ind. — Despite a $34 million jackpot, the highest in the Hoosier Lotto's five-year history, Indiana Lottery officials say they're experiencing “jackpot-apathy.”

        “Although $34 million is still a lot of money, we aren't seeing a significant amount of interest,” said Hoosier Lotto spokesman Andrew Reed. This week's Hoosier Lotto numbers will be drawn tonight. He speculated that the lull may be a residual of last year's record $295.7 million Powerball jackpot and the immense interest it spawned.

        “It really skewed the frenzy-meter,” Mr. Reed said, adding that it is becoming harder and harder to predict exactly how much money will

        spur extended lines of dollar-toting Lotto-players.

        In Lawrenceburg, at Triangle Shell, 1206 E. Eads Parkway, manager Sandi Miller said Friday that the gas station hasn't had long lines since obtaining its second ticket dispensing machine.

        “We're right down the street from Argosy (Casino),” she said. “We don't usually have very long lines and peak ticket-buying time is usually around 3:30 p.m.”

        She added that she isn't anticipating much of a rush.

        At other lottery ticket dealers along Eads Parkway in Lawrenceburg, such as BP, SuperAmerica, and AmeriStop, officials weren't anticipating long lines either.

        This week's Hoosier Lotto jackpot is the third-highest jackpot in the country, behind Florida's state game which is offering a $66 million pay-out and The Big Game, sold in Illinois and Michigan, that is offering one winner $54 million.

        Officials said Hoosier Lotto tickets are only sold in Indiana and the odds of winning are one in 12 million, much better than Powerball's one in 80 million.

        All in all, the lack of interest is bound to benefit those who have purchased Hoosier Lotto tickets, such as 68-year-old Jerry Chilcolowski, of Jamestown, Ohio.

        “I'm not picky. I don't care how much money I can win, if it's there I'll take it,” he said.


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