Georgia lottery hits the jackpot in sales - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Georgia lottery hits the jackpot in sales

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July 16, 2007

Albany -- Millions of Georgians play the lottery in hopes of hitting the jackpot. "I would finish school, pay off my credit card debt, pay my parents mortgage off, and pay my car note," said Jacqline Watts.

"Definitely would travel, probably go to Hawaii, Jamaica for sure," said Henry Everson.

" I would put it in the bank and sit on it for a while," said Woodall cashier, Kim Surface.

But this year it's the Georgia lottery getting the fortune. The state's lottery set another year of record sales topping 3 point 4 billion dollars for the first time. "We sell a lot of lottery. We sell more lottery than stuff in the store. It's really popular," said Surface.

The record high was an increase of more than 244 million dollars in sales over last year. "We have a lot of regular customers that just come in to buy lotto," said Surface.

This year, the Georgia Lottery launched several new games which may have gotten more people playing. "They try them out, but most people like the big dollar tickets," said Surface. "The newer games are the two dollar tickets, one dollar tickets, and a couple of three dollar tickets."

But higher sales isn't just good for the Georgia Lottery, its also good for vendors. "We have a lot of people that come in just for lottery," said Surface. "But we also have a lot of people that come in buy gas, get their stuff, and buy lottery as well."

The Georgia lottery contributed more than $850 million from their record revenue to HOPE scholarships and pre-K programs. So in the end, the money Georgians spent on the dream of instant wealth comes back to the state.

More than one million students have earned Hope scholarships and about 800,000 four-year-olds have attended lottery funded pre-k classes.

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