Scratch games keep growing in popularity, pump millions into Minnesota State Lottery

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Scratch cards are now driving the Minnesota State Lottery’s growth, the Star Tribune reports, with sales expected to hit $358 million in 2013 -- some$150 million more than other lottery gambits like lotto games and Powerball.

The Strib investigated 10 years of lottery sales and income, and the digging is impressive and revealing.

To wit: Scratch games grew an average of 3.4 percent annually over the past decade, according to the newspaper’s analysis of sales at more than 4,000 retailers. At the same time, lotto sales have slid an average of 1.4 percent annually. The paper also reports that in 2012, a price hike and several big Powerball jackpots boosted lotto revenues 30 percent.

The paper also looks at the potentially addictive nature of the cards, while lottery officials say that the lottery has contributed more than $2 billion to the state budget and environmental programs since it began in the early 1990s.

And the lotto spent more than $75 million advertising and marketing their products in the last decade, records show, says the Strib. The report also points out the ubiquitous nature of the lottery's partnerships with the Vikings and the Twins.

Think you're going to win? The chance of winning any money is about 1 in 3 to 1 in 4, and you have a 1 in 405,773 chance of winning the $1 million prize on the $30 ticket, the most expensive the lottery sells.

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