Commonwealth Journal

News Live

May 29, 2014

Lottery CEO says Kentucky is benefiting from gaming

Somerset —

Show us the money! That’s what Kentucky Lottery Corp. President and CEO Arch Gleason did Thursday morning when he detailed how lottery dollars are used in Pulaski County during an early-morning meeting with the Somerset-Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce. Of the $10.1 million spent in 2013 on lottery tickets in Pulaski County, $6.6 million was awarded in prizes, about 90 percent or more of which came from scratch off tickets, Gleason told the audience gathered at Somerset Community College. Part of the remaining $3.5 million in fiscal year 2013 was spent on 1,773 college grants and scholarships for Pulaski County students seeking higher education; 3,334 grants were awarded for Somerset Community College students alone, roughly $4,000,000 in aid. Since 1999, $2 billion has been generated from the lottery for college scholarships, Gleason said. “We haven’t yet doubled our sales (since 1993) but we have doubled (what we give) to the Commonwealth,” Gleason said of new operating methods at the state Lottery Corp. “This year (money given to the state) will be around $230 million.” Statewide, the lottery generated $15.24 billion between its birth 25 years ago and February. Slightly more than a quarter of that — $4.087 billion — has been given directly to the state to fund things like education while 60 percent has been awarded to winners. The rest was spent on operating costs and marketing. Gleason also debunked a few common lottery myths: • “You’re more likely to be struck by lightning than win the lottery.” In the past two years, 1,014 Americans won $1 million or more via the lottery. Only 446 were struck by lightning, Gleason said. “Fortunately, winning the lottery is actually twice as likely an occurrence as getting struck by lightning,” Gleason said. He added that the odds of winning the Powerball Jackpot were “astronomical” at one in 175,223,510. • “Lottery games create compulsive and problem gambling.” “(The lottery) can be a vehicle for compulsive gamblers to manifest their disorder,” Gleason said. “And (it) is the most prevalent form of gaming in Kentucky … but for a compulsive gambler the lottery is not normally the game of preference because it does have the resonant level of activity that … drives the drives the players desire to be in the game.” Gleason said 1.2 percent of the Kentucky population shows probable prevalence of either compulsive or problem gambling, although he later noted that many of those Kentuckians live near the state’s northern border and have access to forms of gambling other than the lottery. • “Lottery games prey on the poor.” The average Kentucky Lottery player “mirrors” what the 2010 U.S. Census calls the average Kentucky Adult, Gleason said. The average adult is between 35 and 45, has a high school degree and has an annual media income of $42,600, while the average player is between 35 and 54, has some college education and has an annual media income that falls between $40,000 and $50,000. Judah Taylor is a summer intern at the Commonwealth Journal. He can be reached at: jtaylor@somerset-kentucky.com

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