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LOTTERY DIRECTOR MARKS FIRST ANNIVERSARY AT POST; 25 PERCENT BOOST IN TICKET SALES

 LOTTERY DIRECTOR MARKS FIRST ANNIVERSARY AT POST;
 25 PERCENT BOOST IN TICKET SALES
 SACRAMENTO, Calif., Oct. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- California Lottery Director Sharon Sharp marks her first anniversary at her post with cautious optimism today, citing a boost in sales and improvements to lottery games, including increased player conveniences and more games for players to choose from.
 The lottery reports that in the first three months of 1992, average weekly sales are up more than 25 percent over last year. The Scratcher games posted the biggest increase in sales, with a rise of 36 percent. Average weekly sales of Scratchers more than doubled those of last October, before Sharp took over, rising from an average of $3.4 million a week to an average of $7.6 million.
 "My 18-month plan is right on track. Last October, I told California I would give players more games choices, more ways to win and make it easier for them to collect their winnings," said Sharp.
 Since taking over the directorship last year, Sharp has changed all the games to make them easier to win. She improved the odds of winning a multimillion dollar jackpot with SuperLotto and gave players a choice of several Scratcher games available at the same time. She introduced Fantasy 5, which gives players the best chance of winning hundreds of thousands of dollars (top prize odds of 1 in 575,757) and Daily 3, which allows players to choose from three different play styles, each with different odds and prizes.
 "Not everyone is interested in huge jackpots," said Sharp. "That's exactly why we introduced Fantasy 5 and Daily 3. It's no secret: Giving players what they want is what makes a lottery successful."
 Sharp said that the sales improvement in recent months is the result of dramatically improved Scratcher sales, good luck in the SuperLotto game (two large jackpots vs. only one in the previous fiscal year) and a generally more player-friendly lottery.
 Further improvements also included in Sharp's 18-month plan are the introduction of a new game, greater player convenience with the installation of more lottery terminals and the continued expansion of Scratcher game choices. The completion of the plan is expected to produce sales this fiscal year of $1.9 billion, a 40 percent increase over last year's $1.35 billion.
 The Lottery Act requires that 50 percent of total sales be returned to players as prizes and a minimum of 34 percent goes to public education. The remaining 16 percent goes to retailer commissions (6.5 percent) and Lottery operations costs (9.5 percent). The lottery's contribution makes up approximately 2 percent to 3 percent of the total public education budget. In seven years, the lottery has contributed more than $5.3 billion to education.
 -0- 10/14/92
 /CONTACT: Joanne McNabb of California State Lottery, 916-324-9639/ CO: California State Lottery ST: California IN: SU:


JB-KJ -- LA033 -- 9549 10/13/92 17:14 EDT
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Date:Oct 13, 1992
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