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Tuesday, February 10, 2004
Media Contact:  Kym Gerlock
(615) 253-1125 Office
(615) 604-2827 Mobile

NASHVILLE - Starting the Tennessee Lottery 21 days earlier than the original Feb. 10 target date has resulted in approximately $96.5 million in ticket sales in just three weeks - which means nearly $30 million for education programs in the state to date.

“This reinforces the importance of an early start-up,” said Rebecca Paul, CEO and president of the Tennessee Lottery. “Had we begun today, as was originally anticipated, we would be nearly $100 million behind where we currently stand.”

Of the $96.5 million in ticket sales,

$15,353,000 sold in the Chattanooga region
$26,686,000 sold in the Memphis region
$15,561,000 sold in the Knoxville region
$ 7,665,000 sold in the Tri-cities region
$29,978,000 sold in the Nashville region
$ 1,259,000 sold at retailers who have not yet been assigned to districts.

According to state statute, of the total amount of money generated through ticket sales, at least 50 percent is returned to players, 30 percent to education (for the first year), 6.5 percent to retailers, with the remainder to pay for all operational costs of the Lottery.

“We’re proud of these last three weeks and anticipate ongoing success. Thanks to our staff and a retail network that continues to grow each day, we’re moving forward with confidence,” said Paul.

More than 3,800 retailers throughout the state continue to report brisk sales and a strong interest in the Lottery among their customers. Eight types of instant games are currently available, and the Lottery plans to unveil two new games every two weeks. Next on the horizon is Cash 3, a computerized game where players pick numbers to match numbers chosen through a daily televised drawing. Cash 3 is scheduled to begin in early March.

All Tennessee Lottery profits will go to education programs. Most immediately, the Lottery is charged with raising at least $88 million by July 1 in order to fund scholarships for an estimated 65,000 students expected to attend Tennessee colleges and universities next fall.

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