o The Kentucky Lottery hit a major milestone by surpassing $2 billion to the Commonwealth over the last 15 years. The transferred revenue has gone to fund need-based and merit-based scholarships, literacy programs, KEES Reserve fund, the SEEK program, the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, and the General Fund. A one time bonus was also given to Vietnam Veterans.
o The Kentucky Lottery conducted an 8-week second chance Powerball promotion giving away 12 grand prize packages that included a trip for the winner and a guest to the Super Bowl. The prize package also included lodging, an MVP party, leather jacket, cash stipend of $500, ground transportation, airfare, federal and state withholding tax. Players entered the promotion by purchasing a minimum of $5 on one (1) Powerball ticket to receive an ISYS-generated second-chance entry form during the period of October 22, 2003 - December 10, 2003.
o The Kentucky Lottery re-introduced its very first scratch-off ticket BEGINNER'S LUCK, to help mark its 15th anniversary. BEGINNER'S LUCK, along with the KENTUCKY DREAM STAKES scratch-off ticket generated more than $5 million in sales on the Kentucky Lottery's first day.
o On April 4, the Kentucky Lottery celebrated its 15th Anniversary. At this point, the Kentucky Lottery had sold more than $7.7 billion in tickets, with more than $4.5 billion going to player prizes. Retailers across the state had enjoyed nearly $471 million in commissions from selling and cashing tickets.
o On the weekend of April 25th, the largest two day payout in the history of Pick 3 occurred when triple digits came in twice on consecutive nights. The first appearance came when the numbers 3-3-3 were drawn on Saturday evening, producing a prize payout of $1,970,850 to more than 6,500 PICK 3 winners. The most popular set of numbers played on PICK 3 were drawn the very next evening (Sunday). The numbers 7-7-7 paid out more than $2 million to over 6,700 PICK 3 players, making it the fifth largest payout.
o A group of 26 employees from a manufacturing plant in Erlanger, Kentucky claimed the Lotto South jackpot worth $12.6 million dollars on May 18th. The winners all worked at Wild Flavors, Inc., which manufactures flavors and colors for the food and beverage industry. They held jobs in departments all over the plant, such as production, shipping, research and development, maintenance, and sanitation. Each member of the group pitched in $10 a week to buy either Lotto South or Powerball tickets. The players chose to take the jackpot’s cash option, which means each will receive $257,668.72 before taxes (two players are split one of the prizes).?
o The KLC held a drawing on June 14th to mark the end of its 15th Anniversary Grand Prize Promotion. David Pearson, a 56-year-old Madisonville resident, won the $150,000 grand prize. The promotion had drawn around 200,000 entries. Pearson's name was drawn between innings at home plate during a Louisville Bats game.
o The midday Pick 3 drawing produced its highest payout ever on July 14th when 0-0-0 was drawn. The total prize payout was $2,168,520, with 7,322 players cashing in.
o On July 21st, the KLC announced it had shattered yet another sales record, with final totals for Fiscal Year 2004 showing more than $725 million in tickets sold. This beat the old record of $673,485,000 set in FY ‘03 by $51.8 million (or about 7.7% higher). Actual sales were 13.5% higher than the $638.8 projected for the fiscal year. Two factors combined to send sales levels higher than what had been expected. Scratch-off ticket sales were $357,020,000, an increase of $37.1 million (or 11.6%) from last year’s total of $319.9 million. Powerball sales ended the year at $133,893,000 which is $19.3 million (or 17%) more than the $114.6 million in Powerball sales from last fiscal year.
o For the tenth straight year, the KLC was awarded the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and finance reporting. On August 4th, the KLC received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) of the United States and Canada. The award was given after judges concluded the KLC’s comprehensive annual financial report met high standards, including the demonstration of a constructive “spirit of full disclosure” to clearly communicate the corporation's financial story.
o $193.5 million in Lottery proceeds were paid to the state during the 2004 fiscal year. This shattered the previous record, $180.7 million, set during fiscal year 2003 by 7.1%. The dividend amount jumped $23 million (also 13.5%) when compared to budget. The increase in sales meant a rise in prizes paid to players, reaching $439.2 million (also a record at that time).
o Tic Tac Cash was launched August 30th. The new online game, which played like Tic Tac Toe, was the first of its kind ever offered by a U.S. lottery. Tic Tac Cash was projected to sell approximately $7 million in tickets per year.
o Judith Young won $100,000 on the 6th. What set this win apart is what Judith did with the money. Her husband Charles Craig had been working in Iraq as a civilian contractor in Baghdad’s “Green Zone.” He’d been working overseas to pay off debt the couple had amassed, but once Judith win, they had enough money for him to come home. It took several days and a dangerous trip to the airport in Baghdad, but Charles made it home safely one week after the big win.
o Arch Gleason is elected Senior Vice President of the World Lottery Association during its meeting in South Africa. As a result of his election, he is slated to become the organization’s president in 2005.
o A former Bosnian war refugee won $1 million playing Kentucky Cash Ball after buying 5 tickets with all the same numbers. Each ticket was worth $200,000. Kemal Barakovic picked the winning numbers from a UPC code on a bottle of vitamins in his home. When asked why he bought 5 tickets with all the same numbers, he simply replied, "Why play for $200,000 when you can go for a million?"