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WyoLotto aims to go live in August

Apr 23, 2014 - By Anne McGowan, Staff Writer

A workshop for businesses interested in selling Powerball and Mega Millions tickets will be Thursday in Riverton.

Wyoming Lottery Corporation chief executive officer Jon Clontz said he hopes to have the state lottery up and running by mid-to-late August.

Clontz spoke to LEADER Corp on April 16 in Lander while touring the state and seeking merchants to apply to sell WyoLotto tickets.

In 2013, the Wyoming Legislature approved the creation of a state lottery that will feature two multi-state draw games, Powerball and Mega Millions. Scratch-off games and video lottery terminals are not permitted.

Structure

Clontz comes to the position after several years with the Oregon Lottery.

He answers to a nine-member board of directors, all of whom were appointed to four-year terms by Gov. Matt Mead.

The lottery corporation is a quasi-governmental company that runs like a private company, Clontz told the LEADER audience.

By law, the profits of the Wyoming Lottery Corporation shall be distributed in the following ways: 45 percent shall be made available as prize money; At least 6 percent shall be given to retailers for compensation; the first $6 million of each fiscal year shall be transferred to the state treasurer for distribution to county, city and town general funds four times per year; and the remaining profits shall be transferred to the common school account within the permanent land fund.

Retail outlets

Clontz said he anticipates convenience stores, bars and taverns, grocers and restaurants would be likely ticket vendors. Casinos would not.

Retailers would be required to pay out winning amounts of $599 or less. Winners of $600 or more would collect their prize by mail or at the Cheyenne office.

Georgia-based lottery company Intralot will provide machines, which will be limited to one per store.

Clontz's goal is to have 400 to 450 vendors to start and, he said, the organization is currently seeking an agency to perform background checks on retailers.

While WyoLotto is "working hard to reach out to retailers," Clontz said interested retailers who have not been contacted can see the application online.

A workshop for retailers interested in selling Powerball and Mega Millions tickets will be 10 a.m. to noon Thursday at the Holiday Inn in Riverton. According to WyoLotto.com, attendees will learn more about the Wyoming Lottery, review the draft application for retailers and a draft of the retailer contract, and learn details about the retailer selection process.

Roll out and future

The lottery is likely to go live in one area of the state at a time over the course of a week in August.

"We want to do it fast, but we want to do it right," Clontz said.

He also is looking to the future, saying the corporation will "need to increase the game portfolio eventually."

Because of its low population, chances of a Wyoming resident winning a multi-state jackpot "are slim," Clontz said. "People are going to get a little bored with not winning."

The lottery board is authorized to add more draw games, but legislation would be required to add scratch-offs.

For more information, visit www.wyolotto.com.

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