Cheyenne, Wyo. - Exactly two years ago on Aug. 24, 2014, Wyoming celebrated the sale of the first lottery ticket in the Cowboy State. Today, WyoLottoTM celebrates this landmark along with other milestones since the introduction of the first in-state lottery.
After two years of success, CEO Jon Clontz said, “We are proud to have accomplished so much in such a short time, beginning with the addition of two draw games and continuing with the launch of Cowboy DrawTM. And now, we’re preparing to offer another brand-new game for our players.”
Lottery ticket sales became legal when the Wyoming State Legislature passed a bill in 2013, but the Wyoming Lottery Corporation would first need to secure a start up loan, hire staff, and create infrastructure to establish the corporation and begin to sell tickets.
Through the success and support of Wyoming players and retailers, WyoLotto paid off its start up loan early, and in 2016 began making revenue transfers to the Wyoming State Treasurer.
In addition to recent achievements, Clontz emphasized what has been a key piece to success. “Beyond the sales and milestones, and after two years of ticket sales, we have been able to keep Wyoming players’ dollars in Wyoming, spent at Wyoming retailers.”
Clontz explained that the loan payoff and the two revenue transfers already made to the state happened faster than originally expected, largely due to increased ticket sales from the $1.6 billion Powerball jackpot and last year’s launch of the popular Cowboy DrawTM game, which offers better odds and more winners.
“Proudly, we are now another revenue stream for cities, towns, counties, and education,” said Mark Macy, WyoLotto Board Chairman.
Because of these increased ticket sales, the lottery has transferred more than $2 million so far to the state, which the Wyoming Treasurer’s Office distributes to the 99 cities and towns and 23 counties, according to a formula in the state statute. The first transfer in April was $1.12 million and the second in July was $915,000. Revenue transfers are made each quarter, up to a maximum of $6 million per year. Any revenues exceeding that will then go to the Wyoming Permanent Land Fund’s Common School Account.
“To continue to grow, we must expand the lottery’s player base and add new games, something we are preparing to do later this year with the addition of Lucky for LifeⓇ,” Clontz said.
WyoLotto tells Newschannel 5 that Lucky For Life will be added on December 4, 2016 and the top prize for that game is a thousand dollars a day for life.
To date, more than 1.5 million WyoLotto players have won $23.6 million. The first WyoLotto-only game, Cowboy Draw, increased player excitement and has already presented jackpots to nine players since its launch in March 2015.
Macy emphasized that keeping lottery players in Wyoming keeps revenue here. “Research shows that players usually purchase other products when they go in to buy lottery tickets in store.”
Clontz added, “WyoLotto is a Wyoming brand and is very proud to be a part of Wyoming’s unique culture. We are working hard to continue to contribute to the state’s economy.”