Register | Forgot Your Password? | Close
powerball_ramirez_5.jpg
Catherine Ramirez, a security guard, says she plays Powerball for the big jackpots. The head of the Arizona Lottery says two record Powerball jackpots contributed to a record-breaking year in fiscal 2013. (Photo by Xi Chen/Cronkite News)

PHOENIX -- The two largest jackpots in Powerball history, including one split by a Fountain Hills man, contributed to a record-breaking fiscal 2013 for the Arizona Lottery, its executive director said.

"People all over Arizona are excited and are playing the game, so that added a lot to our sales," Jeff Hatch-Miller said.

Sales revenue for the year ending June 30 was $692.9 million, up 7.2 percent from the previous year. It was the most in the lottery's 31-year history and enough that for only the fourth time every designated lottery beneficiary received its full funding.

The price of Powerball tickets doubled to $2 in January 2012, helping fuel larger jackpots. In May, a Florida woman won a record $590.5 million jackpot, while in November 2012 Matthew Good of Fountain Hills split $587.5 million.

Tim James, a professor at the L. William Seidman Research Institute at Arizona State University's W.P. Carey School of Business, said older Arizonans may have helped boost sales.

"The population of the retirees in Arizona is increasing after the recession due to the migration of people who are retiring, and they have more time and discretionary income to play," he said.

Hatch-Miller said the recession didn't affect the Arizona Lottery's performance. In addition to big jackpots, he credited new games such as the Weekly Winnings drawing and Second Chance Scratchers.

"The economy in Arizona was a little stressed in the last few years. During the recession most people didn't spend that much, and you would think people would spend less on the lottery," he said. "They spent a lot less on the casinos and other entertainment, but the Arizona lottery, because of some new games and the big jackpots, it's been doing really well."

Matthew Smith, managing director at Chicago-based Independent Gaming Research, said Arizona and other states are benefiting from offering new and better games.

"Lotteries are getting smarter - not just simply throwing a bunch of instant games out there which nobody knows what they mean, but really think about the themes, the prizes and the motivations," he said.

At S & J Shop & Ship in downtown Phoenix, owner Shirley Petro said lottery ticket sales were up 44 percent in fiscal 2013 over the previous year. However, she attributed that to the growing population in the area.

"People have a lot of pressure on their jobs, they are stressed. They come in, they buy a lottery ticket, they think maybe they will be able to quit work," she said. "That's probably why the lottery has been high: It gives people hope."

After dropping $2 on a Powerball ticket at a Circle K, Catherine Ramirez, a security guard, said she plays for the big jackpots.

"I buy lottery tickets a couple of times a week, and hopefully I'll win $500,000 or $1.5 million.

share this story:
Attention KTAR.com Comment Users: We have recently changed our comments boards.
We would like you to be part of the conversation and The Voice of Arizona by logging in with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing KTAR (Arizona Sports) account members will need to create a Disqus account or use one of the aforementioned social media logins. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus

World Class Arizona

  • Dignity Health

    World Class People. World Class Company. Excellent care, delivered with compassion, for all in need.
  • CopperPoint Mutual Insurance Company

    SCF Arizona has a new name. They are now CopperPoint Mutual Insurance Company.
  • Taylor Morrison

    World Class People. World Class Company. We are a national home builder committed to building homes inspired by you.
  • Go Daddy

    World Class People. World Class Company. Go Daddy is a Fortune 100 "Best Companies to Work For."
  • Avnet

    World Class People. World Class Company. Here's information on a Fortune 500 company from Arizona.

Voice For A Better Arizona

  • Working For Arizona

    The business and economics of Arizona at the start of 2014 and looking forward.
  • Arizonans In Need

    Putting a focus on charities and organizations who provide help and/or need your help to fulfill their missions.
close

Share: