SHERIDAN — The WyoLotto’s success in its first six months has prompted the organization to try their luck with a new game.
On Sunday, the WyoLotto will release Wyoming’s first in-state lottery game. The five-number draw game, called the Cowboy Draw, promises better odds of winning compared to the current multi-state jackpot games. The twice-weekly draw game has odds at 68 percent and includes prizes ranging from $1 to the $250,000 minimum jackpot.
It’s a huge step forward for the newly formed lottery.
WyoLotto CEO Jon Clontz said developing an in-state game like Cowboy Draw was a part of the organization’s maturation process as a lottery.
The original plan was to wait one year before releasing any new game, but the success of the WyoLotto’s multi-state game and public demand for in-state games swayed the board to start sooner.
Early projections showed that the WyoLotto would bring in anywhere between $13-17 million in annual ticket sales through Powerball and Mega Millions. Clontz said they are on track to take in $16 million this year. They have also hit or exceeded their sales target for every county in the state.
There are 18 WyoLotto venders in Sheridan County and 438 statewide.
Clontz credits the organization’s ambitious advertising campaign in the early days of the WyoLotto for the success.
“The proof is in the pudding — we are hitting the targets we set,” Clontz said. “But I think that is directly related to not only excitement, but making sure people knew where to buy (tickets), when to buy them, what our logo looked like and where to go about purchasing them … and we are getting a return on our investment.”
While the novelty of the WyoLotto caused ticket purchases to skyrocket in the past six months, sales will eventually begin to level off. Clontz said his group is prepared for the stabilization of sales, and will continue to market to keep interest high. With the Cowboy Draw and other in-state games, the WyoLotto will be able to predict revenue more effectively.
“The thing with the multi-state games is that they are what you call ‘jackpot-chasing games.’ So when the jackpot is high or low, sales [fluctuate],” Clontz said. “… These in-state games, for whatever reason, they are a little more predictable. People still want to win the jackpot, but they play them for other reasons — loyalty to their lottery game, fun, graphics or whatever.”
More in-state games will be added to WyoLotto’s portfolio in the future. Tentatively, there are plans to add two more draw games this year — one game may be introduced in conjunction with Cheyenne Frontier Days July 17-26 and another could be introduced in the fall.
“We will try to end the year with a five-game portfolio; three in-state games and two multi-state,” Clontz said.
Despite the popularity in other states, Wyoming laws prohibit the sale or production of scratch ticket games. Clontz declined to say whether or not he would like to see scratch tickets become part of the WyoLotto, but said due to their low-cost production and their popularity, he said the sale of scratch tickets could provide the state with additional revenue.