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Betting big on $20 m. jackpot

PORT OF SPAIN — If you are among those people feeling Lotto lucky today, consider this: you have a greater chance of being struck by lightning some time in your lifetime than winning the $20 million jackpot.

You also have better odds of living to be 100 than taking home tonight’s prize, the biggest in the his≠tory of the National Lotteries Con≠trol Board.

The chances of choosing all five numbers with the correct powerball are 1 in 3,246,320, according to the fine print on the Lotto slip.

The Express was told that at least $4 million in tickets were being sold daily last week.

NLCB chairman Winston Siriram said it was expected that by yesterday and today, sales would increase to $5.2 million a day.

The NLCB falls under the purview of the Ministry of Finance and generates income for the Government.

Despite the odds, players are not deterred, Siri≠ram said.

People have complained that the new Lotto system had lessened a person’s chances of winning and was the reason for the Lotto frequently rolling over.

However Siriram said that was not the case, and the changes were made to make the game more attractive because sales were “flat”.

He said, “Nobody was really inte≠rested in the $1 million anymore, so by putting the $2 million (minimum), we made it more attractive. But to make sure the business remained viable, that was when we added the powerball.

‘Reinventing yourself’

In this type of business, you need to keep reinventing yourselves, so there will always be enhancements and attractions to improve the quality of the game.”

The changes made in October 2012 were the decreasing of numbers from 36 to 35 and the introduction of the powerball. The starting prize was also increased from $1 million to $2 million.

Siriram said, “It is therefore easier to win than under the last system. Since the change, we have had more frequent wins, and even the previously largest jackpot of $16.8 million was drawn in November.”

He said, “The probability of a winner in this draw has moved up to 90 per cent.” (Express)

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