The D.C. Lottery Board, faced with lagging sales of its instant lottery tickets, yesterday approved a series of losers' drawings in which players who submit 10 losing tickets will be eligible to win a variety of prizes, including a trip for two to the Super Bowl.
Lottery officials originally had hoped to sell all 30 million $1 tickets in the D.C. Double game, the city's second legally sanctioned lottery contest, by the end of January. But sales slowed over the holidays, and now officials are predicting that the game will not sell out until the end of February.
"We're at the point where we need to keep the sales up," said Gloria A. Decker, general manager of Games Production Inc., the private firm hired by the D.C. Lottery and Charitable Games Control Board to run the lottery.
A total of 19.1 million tickets was sold in the D.C. Instant Lottery, the city's first betting contest, in slightly less than two months last summer and early fall. In the second game, 18.2 million tickets have been sold in about 2 1/2 months.
Decker said that the first losers' drawing in the current instant lottery will be held Jan. 21, with the Super Bowl trip among the prizes. Additional losers' drawings will be held each Friday until the end of the D.C. Double game. Prizes in the losers' contests will include a Paris vacation for two, a ski trip, color televisions, stereo equipment, $200 gift certificates for jewelry and sporting goods, Washington Bullets basketball tickets and dinners at local restaurants.
In addition, all of those who lose in the losers' drawings will be eligible to win a 1983 Cadillac at a final drawing after the end of the D.C. Double game.
In addition to unanimously approving the losers' drawing, the five-member lottery board also named Chester C. Carter, 61, a former State Department deputy chief of protocol and one-time owner of a D.C. liquor distrbutorship, to be its new executive director, replacing Douglass W. Gordon Jr.
The board replaced Gordon as executive director in the belief that Carter would prove to be a stronger manager of the lottery's operations. The board named Gordon to be a special adviser in charge of lottery research and development and he will keep his current $56,000 annual salary, the same amount that Carter will be paid.
Carter will take over the day-to-day administration of the board's operations at a time when the board is immersed in preparations for the expected summer start of a daily numbers game similar to the one now operating in Maryland.
In the instant game now sanctioned by the board, players scratch off the covering of tickets to determine if they have matching numbers to win that amount. In the planned daily numbers game, players will pick their own three-digit number and then wait to see if their number is drawn as the winner that day.
To be eligible for the losers' drawing, lottery players must send 10 losing tickets, along with their name, to the D.C. Double's Loser's Drawing, P.O. Box 23999, Washington, D.C. 20024, or drop off the envelope at the lottery's headquarters at 1420 New York Ave. NW by Thursday of each week to be eligible for the weekly Friday drawings. Multiple entries are permitted, but each entry must have 10 losing tickets in it.
In other action yesterday, the board also formally approved moving its headquarters to Anacostia, first to an office building with addresses at 2041 and 2051 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE, site of the old Curtis Brothers furniture store, and by next year to the firm's renovated furniture warehouse at 2101 Martin Luther King.