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Wednesday, January 12, 2005
Media Contact:  Kym Gerlock
(615) 324-6556 Office
(615) 604-2827 Mobile

NASHVILLE - The Tennessee Lottery announced today it will remove some of the mystery from its popular Lotto 5 computerized game by giving players an estimated jackpot before each of the tri-weekly drawings. Prior to estimating the jackpot, players only knew the rollover amount from the previous drawing if there was no winner. At the game’s launch, it was announced that the top prize would range from the “tens of thousands to more than one-hundred thousand dollars.”

“After just over four months of playing Lotto 5, players have told us they want to know what they are playing for,” said Rebecca Paul, CEO and President of the Tennessee Lottery. “In order to maximize dollars for education, we will continue to respond to players requests, and this is just one example.”

There have been 15 jackpot winners since Lotto 5 tickets went on sale Aug. 29, 2004. The top prizes have ranged from $54,852 to $670,823.

The new announcements begin with tonight’s drawing, which has an estimated jackpot of $170,000. If no player matches five of the five numbers drawn, the estimated jackpot for Friday’s drawing is $215,000. If there are any winning tickets sold that match five of the five numbers, the estimated top prize for Friday will be $40,000.

Playing Lotto 5 is easy: For $1 per play, players select five numbers from 1 to 39. If 3, 4 or 5 of those numbers are drawn in any order, the player wins. If there is no top-prize winner, the cash for that prize is added to the top prize for the next drawing. Prize amounts are pari-mutuel, which means all winners share an equal portion of the winnings in each prize category. Overall odds of winning are 1 in 100.

Drawings are held on Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights at 10:34 p.m. CST and can be seen on the Lottery’s TV network partners throughout the state.

The Tennessee Lottery began selling its first instant tickets on Jan. 20, 2004. As of Oct. 15, the Lottery had transferred more than $174 million to the Tennessee Lottery for Education account, as well as more than $2 million for after-school programs. All Lottery profits will go to pay for specific education programs in Tennessee, which initially include HOPE Scholarships.

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