Eye On Boise

Idaho lottery profits up despite downturn

Norman Southworth, left, a sales representative for the Idaho Lottery in the Idaho Falls area, indulges in a free hot dog while chatting with the lottery's
Norman Southworth, left, a sales representative for the Idaho Lottery in the Idaho Falls area, indulges in a free hot dog while chatting with the lottery's "PowerBall" mascot at a celebration marking the lottery's 20th anniversary on Tuesday in Boise. (Betsy Russell / The Spokesman-Review)

Though the economic times are grim, there's one way Idaho's still making money: By chance. Idaho's state lottery announced today that its revenues for the recently concluded fiscal year set a record for the seventh time in eight years, coming in 2 percent over last year. That bucks a national trend that has many states seeing lower lottery proceeds this year, including Washington, where lottery proceeds were down 6 percent. "The principal reason is this is a low-cost form of entertainment for the people who play - I mean, it's only a dollar," said Idaho Lottery Director Jeff Anderson. "We know that people are cutting back on their expenditures for a lot of things." Idaho's state lottery also celebrated its 20-year anniversary today, with free hot dogs and birthday cake for anyone who showed up to a celebration across from the state Capitol in downtown Boise.

Anderson said the Idaho lottery sold its first ticket in 1989 to billionaire J.R. Simplot; that ticket didn't win. Idaho's lottery proceeds are split evenly between public schools and the state's permanent building fund, which maintains state buildings; you can read my full story here at spokesman.com.




You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus
« Back to Eye On Boise
Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Russell covers Idaho news from the state capitol in Boise and writes the Eye on Boise blog.

Follow Betsy online:








Sections


Profile

Contact the Spokesman

Main switchboard:
(509) 459-5000
Customer service:
(800) 338-8801
Newsroom:
(509) 459-5400
(800) 789-0029
Back to Spokesman Mobile