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Lottery Sales

August 24, 1987

In reference to the article regarding the stagnating Lotto 6/49 sales (Part I, Aug. 19), I would like to express my views on the poor sales, which I am sure are shared by many people in California.

The prizes awarded each week for winners of three, four and five numbers out of six are extremely low compared to the jackpot award. When you consider that for three numbers out of six, which is almost half the battle, you get only $5 and for four correct numbers you get an average of $70, this, in my opinion, is very poor compensation.

If I were in (Lottery Director) Chon Gutierrez's shoes, I would reduce the jackpot each time by a million dollars since the odds of winning that are 1 in 14 million and there is a very good chance of it being rolled over to the next draw. I would then split $1 million among the other winners, according to the computerized odds, which would result in better payoffs. This, I feel certain, will attract many more players because of the better returns in case they get three, four or five correct numbers.

The twice-a-week draw proposed by Gutierrez is a step in the right direction, but more even-handed cash awards would further enhance the chances of obtaining the 30% increase in sales he is seeking.

SAUL MATHALON

Woodland Hills

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