Sun | Aug 20, 2017

Lottery payouts way too small

Published:Monday | April 10, 2017 | 4:00 AM


Apart from some commercial banks, Supreme Ventures Limited (SVL) must be the most rapacious entity operating in Jamaica. I will use just one of their games, Lotto, to illustrate my point.
A few years ago, especially when the Lotto jackpot climbed to a considerable amount, whether the jackpot was won on a particular draw or not, the prize for ‘catching’ five numbers, plus the bonus ball, could be in the range of between $400,000 and $600 000 ­ maybe more.
Apparently, the company seemed to arbitrarily change the rules to the extent that these days, regardless of the size of the ‘pot’, you hardly see a prize for five plus bonus ball higher than $200,000. This is absolutely unconscionable and unacceptable!
Just look at the lotto administrations in the United States. Players have won as much as US$1 million without winning the jackpot.
The case for catching five numbers is equally as glaring. Several years ago, I won $35,000 for getting five numbers ­ and I was not the only winner at that level. Today, if you get $10,000 for the same result, you are lucky indeed. And by the way, the prize for getting five numbers in last Saturday night’s draw was $2,626. And before Supreme Ventures tells us that there were all of 38 winners at that level, the cold reality is that the payout adds up to less than $100,000. Shame!
Matching four numbers tells a similar story. A few years ago, you could collect between $350 and $500. In the draw on Saturday night, with the jackpot being above $120 million, your match four ticket won you the princely sum of $169.
St Mary