$118,000 per day.
That is how much the Pennsylvania Lottery brought in during its first 17 days. Keno sold its first ticket on May 1. When you do the math, the Pennsylvania Lottery took in over $2 million in Pennsylvania revenue through Keno ticket sales in the first few weeks.
Pennsylvania Lottery’s new Keno game starts strong
“We watched sales rise steadily through the morning, which shows that our players are excited to try this new game,” said Lottery Executive Director Drew Svitko in a press release. “By lunchtime, Keno was selling at a clip of about 8,200 tickets per hour and still rising.”
The availability of Keno across the state undoubtedly contributed to the successful launch. Players can purchase tickets at one of over 9,400 lottery retailers. For players that want to watch their way to a winning ticket, there are about 600 locations across the state that house the large-screen gaming terminals with an animated version of the drawing. Gary Miller, a lottery spokesman, expects that number to grow.
Before the launch, Svitko claimed Keno would pay players $0.65 on the dollar. In the first 17 days, Keno paid players $1.3 million, a return of $0.65 per dollar to players.
Keno alleviates Lottery Fund pressures
The Pennsylvania Lottery Fund benefits senior citizens in the state through:
- Prescription assistance
- Rebates on property taxes and rent
- Senior citizen centers and meal programs
- Long-term care services
- Transportation assistance
The fund has been under pressure of late because of rising costs and the growth in the senior population.
Officials are looking for Keno and future games to alleviate some of the funding pressure over the next few years.
“Keno is a major step forward in our ability to generate new funds to benefit older Pennsylvanians,” Svitko noted. “We’re excited to see our players give this new game such a warm welcome.”
Keno’s success relies heavily on the technology behind it
Scientific Games is the long-term provider of technology to the Pennsylvania Lottery, including the new Keno game and other online lottery games.
“Scientific Games is pleased to provide Keno games at retailers to support the Lottery’s mission of funding programs for older Pennsylvanians,” said Pat McHugh, senior vice president, global lottery systems for Scientific Games. “We are committed to quickly delivering new products and technology that meets our customers’ requirements and our own stringent protocols for quality and security.”
Launching Keno is just the beginning for the Pennsylvania Lottery. Sometime this summer, the lottery, with the help of Scientific Games will launch Xpress Sports.
With Xpress Sports, players can place bets on fantasy sports events such as Inspired Entertainment’s Stock Car Racing and 1st Down Virtual Football.
Following Keno’s lead, players place their bets in local bars, restaurants, and other retailers. Monitors in select locations will show the simulated games and races.
Pennsylvania Keno finds its first big winner
Irene Grant, from Adamstown, Lancaster County, became the first Keno winner required to go to headquarters to claim a prize.
Grant bought a ticket at a local convenience store. It wasn’t until later in the day that she checked her numbers and realized she won $10,000.
Grant plans a celebratory barbeque for the family. When claiming her prize, she also told lottery officials she would pay off some bills and possibly take a trip.
Interestingly enough, Grant didn’t know how to play the game when she bought her ticket. While it is not necessary to understand how to play the game to win, here is how to play Keno:
How to play Keno:
- Tickets cost between $1 and $20
- Players can choose up to 10 numbers or allow the computer to choose for them
- A random draw of 20 numbers happens every four minutes
- Players match the numbers to win
With Keno in its infancy and the Xpress Sports launch on the horizon, expect more retailers and more monitors to infiltrate the state for the lottery’s newest games.