NASHVILLE - The Tennessee Lottery is celebrating its sixth anniversary today with the announcement of a new grand total of $1.6 billion raised for education programs in the state, as well as finalizing the launch date of “Mega Millions,” which will begin on January 31.
“We’re proud of how far we’ve come and the positive impact we have created for education programs in Tennessee,” said Rebecca Hargrove, President and CEO of the Tennessee Lottery. “After six years, it’s likely that most Tennesseans have either benefitted from the Lottery directly or indirectly through a Lottery-funded education program, a cash or merchandise prize, commission earned from selling our products or a benefit gained by doing business with the Corporation.”
The new total of $1.6 billion for education comes after the Lottery closed its books for the second quarter of this fiscal year. Other details about the Lottery’s first six years (Jan. 20, 2004 through Dec. 31, 2009) include:
• More than $6 billion in gross ticket sales
• Nearly $3.6 billion in prizes won by players
• Nearly $393 million paid in retailer commissions
• 52 tickets sold worth $1 million or more
“What better way to continue this momentum than by offering Mega Millions and Powerball, two mega-jackpot games that players are sure to enjoy,” said Hargrove, who is Chair of the Powerball Group and has been a longtime and leading proponent of cross-selling both games.
“With more people having the chance to play both games, Powerball and Mega Millions jackpots are expected to grow bigger and faster than when they were sold individually. This means more winners and larger jackpots on a more frequent basis.”
The Lottery expects Mega Millions to bring an additional $10 to $15 million annually to education programs in Tennessee.
The decision to allow states the option of offering both Powerball and Mega Millions has been prohibited until a recent agreement was reached in a joint meeting of all U.S. lottery jurisdictions. Beginning Jan. 31, 33 jurisdictions representing a combined population of 200 million people with 148,000 retail outlets will begin offering both games. Others will begin cross-selling the two games at later dates.
For more details about Mega Millions and other Tennessee Lottery games, visit www.tnlottery.com or call Player Services at 1-877-7TN-PLAY. In the Nashville area, call 254-4946.
About the Tennessee Education Lottery
The Tennessee Education Lottery operates entirely from the revenue it generates through the sale of its products. Net proceeds from sales of Lottery tickets, currently averaging over $5 million per week, fund specific education programs, including college scholarships, pre-kindergarten and after-school programs. Since the Tennessee Lottery began selling tickets on Jan. 20, 2004, it has raised more than $1.6 billion for these programs, and returned to Tennessee communities nearly $3.6 billion in prizes and nearly $393 million in retailer commissions. For more information, please visit www.tnlottery.com. For information about Lottery-funded scholarships, visit www.collegepaystn.com.
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