Shreveport region contributes small amount to Louisiana Lottery' - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Shreveport region contributes small amount to Louisiana Lottery's total revenue

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Louisiana Lottery's total revenues from the last five years. Louisiana Lottery's total revenues from the last five years.

The Shreveport- Bossier area is known in the state for its gaming industry—with six of Louisiana's 14 casino boats. But there's another type of gaming legal statewide—the lottery.

Gas station clerk Torye Johnson sells the Louisiana Lottery tickets all through the day.

"We sell probably $200-300 of lotto a day; from morning to night."

Her sales combined with about 300 other outlets from the Shreveport region made up a small percentage of the total state sales for the 2012-2013 fiscal year.

"When you take two big Powerball record jackpots and combine them with scratch off sales that are running about $30 million more than they were five years ago, " said Kimberly Chopin, communication manager for the Louisiana Lottery. "We ended our fiscal year with more than $447.3 million in revenue."

KTBS first started looking into the Louisiana Lottery numbers because we noticed Shreveport's revenue was decreasing. When we questioned the Lottery, they realized their original calculations were wrong. After re-running the numbers, we see sales from July 2012 to June 2013 are up nearly four percent since last year. Over the last five years, sales have seen a steady increase with a huge spike in the 2011-2012 year. That's because the state started to play Mega Millions and the price of a Powerball ticket went up to $2 a piece.

Chopin said that scratch off tickets helped grow sales.

"We are managing our scratch off inventory in a way that allows us to make sure that the right games, that have performed the best at particular retail locations, are getting in the hands of those retailers at the right time," she said.

The region is made up of all the stores selling the Lottery in Caddo, Bossier, Webster, Red River and DeSoto parishes, with a single retailer in Bienville parish. However, Shreveport's sales only make up about 8 percent of the state wide total. Chopin said the region's sales reflect its population.

"That region's [Shreveport's] population, made up 9.71 percent of the state's population, and 8.21 percent of the Louisiana Lottery's total sales. So very similar."

The Louisiana Lottery creates its own regions, deciding which parishes will be served by which offices. The Monroe region has less population than Shreveport, but generates more lottery sales.

"They're also bordered by Mississippi," said Chopin. "Mississippi does not have the lottery... There are some players there that do cross over to play."

The Shreveport region borders Texas and Arkansas, but both have a state lottery.

While the Shreveport region overall sees an increase in population, there have some been some big losses over the past few years. Johnson said her lottery retailer on West Bert Kouns Industrial Loop saw a drop in lotto sales in the last year.

"We're right down the street from where the GM plant use to be and they've actually kind of dropped since they closed," said Johnson.

Johnson said the plant workers would stop in a buy a ticket or two on their breaks or on their way home.

"Most people do buy their tickets close to home," Chopin said. "Most people don't travel to buy lottery ticket."

That money spent in Johnson's store on lottery tickets stays in Louisiana. Fifty percent of the money spent on a lottery ticket goes to the winners. Five percent goes to retails for commission and incentive programs, and less than 10 percent goes to administrative costs—to print tickets, staffing, etc.

The last 35 percent of each dollar goes back to the state to help fun state education. This year, the lottery transferred more than $160 million to the state. It's the second largest amount it's ever transferred. Unfortunately, where you buy the ticket does not help that parish's school get money.

State law says all the money goes into one pot and divided according to the MFP formula for each parish.

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