The annual report became public last month, which showed that there has been a big slump in the number of Lotto Max and 6/49 lottery tickets that were purchased over the last year. The reason that OLG believes that the number of tickets sold went down is due to more winners getting prizes earlier on. Lottery works by continually increasing the winning prize, and as the prize goes up more and more people get involved. Eventually, a massive amount of players get in on the game and a winner gets chosen. However, it looks like this last year there was a lot more luck than normal, as winners were picking up their prize earlier in the lottery which means that the overall winnings were low. Lotto Max only hit the $50 million increment nine times in 2014 and 2015, which is almost half of the number of times it reached that high the previous year.
The combines sales of Lotto Max and Lotto 6/49 dropped a grand total of $167.5 million last year when compared to the year before. This was a drop of 11.9 percent. The province of Ontario felt a hit as well as they had received $2.043 billion in 2015 from the Gaming Corporation, which was down from the $2.077 billion that the lottery had received the year before by a decrease of 1.6 percent.
The report itself stated, “Lottery performance for fiscal 2014-15 was negatively impacted by fewer rolls for Lotto Max and Lotto 6/49. Customers tend to wager less when the jackpot is at or near its base level.” OLG stated that the number of ticket sales increase during “rolls.” Rolls are caused by an extended length of time between winning jackpots, which causes them to increase in size and obtain a larger number of participants as the winning prize grows.
The demographics played a big role as well. Millennials are a lot less likely to buy a lottery ticket than older generations, and so as they are coming into their young adult lives sales are being lost. About 45 percent of older adult Ontario citizens play the lottery, but one about 7 percent of young adults under the age of 35 play. This is creating a loss in profits that is likely to continue with the generation.
OLG has offered a solution, which would mean making the lottery tickets more accessible so that they are easier to buy. The report states that the current OLG technology being used creates a limit on where the paper based tickets can be sold, which doesn’t suit current shopping trends. This will require a major overhaul over the technology that is used in selling the tickets. OLG plans on expanding ticket sales into multi-lane retailers and large big box stores where tickets will be advertised and sold at checkout counters. This is expected to increase the number of ticket sales, particularly in the younger generations that commonly visit these locations.