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Lotto attracting more players after changes

Thu, May 2, 12:34pm by Staff Writer

Wagering group Tabcorp is paying out more Powerball and Oz Lotto winners as its average top-end jackpot pools increase, attracting more gamblers and a revenue boom that could tip over $90 million, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Tabcorp said on Tuesday it had paid out more winners since it made changes to the game in April last year, up between 55 and 75 per cent, and that the average value of jackpots offered when at $15 million or more had lifted from $28.4 million in 2018 to $37.8 million this financial year.

The Powerball changes increased the chances of winning any prize from 1 in 78 to 1 in 44 by requiring players to picking seven numbers from a barrel of 35 balls as opposed to six from 40.

The changes also introduced a ninth prize division.

Tabcorp chief executive David Attenborough attributed the increase in jackpots and therefore people playing, for Powerball and Oz Lotto to “favourable jackpot sequences”, or plainly, luck.

“Powerball and Oz Lotto are our two jackpot game sand in the first 10 months of this financial year they have already recorded 39 large jackpots of $15 million-plus. This is around the number of jackpots we would typically expect in a full year,” Mr Attenborough said at a presentation to the 2019 Macquarie Conference on Tuesday.

“Our results in the current year are also benefiting from some favourable jackpot sequences – $45 million of revenue benefit in the first half, and at least another $45 million in the second half.

“Contributing to this is the Lucky Lotteries Mega Jackpot, which is now at a record $59 million.”

Nearly half of all players who signed up to Powerball during large jackpots went on to play more than one game in the next three months,” Tabcorp said.

There have been two $100 million-plus Powerball jackpots in the past nine months – one in mid-August 2018 and another in January 2019.

The barrel changes and the introduction of a ninth prize division helped more gamblers win, Tabcorp said.

Australian Lottery and Newsagents Association CEO Ben Kearney said lotto customers had reacted positively to the changes.

“Our members were nervous about the changes initially. They always are because they are concerned about how customers will react,” Mr Kearney said.

“But the jackpots lifted very quickly and we also had somebody win it very early. That put to bed most of those concerns,” he said.

Tabcorp and Tatts merged in late 2017 to create an $11 billion gaming giant.

Man misses lotto jackpot by a whisker

An Australian man has been dealt a cruel blow, as his share of a US$50 million Mega Millions lottery wasn’t to be, after a time zone glitch.

The man, known only as Mr G, lodged a gambling dispute against online bookmaker Lottoland Australia after the Northern Territory-based company refused to pay up, the ABC reports.

The man said he lawfully entered the draw with Lottoland before the advertised cut-off time.

The draw had already taken place 27 minutes before, with Lottoland displaying the wrong draw time due to an incorrect time zone conversion.

“The complainant claims he lawfully entered the draw with Lottoland before the advertised cut-off time and successfully nominated all numbers in the US lottery draw entitling him to a share of US$50 million,” the NT Racing Commission said in a decision on the matter last Thursday.

Mr G placed his bet at 11:27am AWST on October 14, 2017, which he said was prior to Lottoland’s “advertised” draw time of 12 noon (AWST).

“Unknown to the complainant when he placed the bet, Draw 2129 had already been draw,” the report stated.

The incorrect draw time appeared on the website because of a wrong conversion from US time to Australian time.

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