Conventional wisdom prevailed over daring yesterday when the State Lottery Board decided to begin the Virginia games with instant-ticket sales.

The board agreed with Lottery Director Ken Thorson's suggestion that computerized "on-line" games such as Lotto should be implemented about six months after instant-ticket sales begin.

Thorson told the board he had been leaning toward recommending that Virginia become the first state to launch a lottery with on-line games. But he said careful analysis convinced him the odds of a successful start are better with the instant-ticket games.

The board also decided that tickets will cost $1 and agents will receive a 5 percent commission. Those are the figures used in almost all other lottery states, Thorson said.

Replying to a board member's question, Thorson said the first tickets should go on sale this summer.

Thorson also outlined agent selection criteria. He said agents would have to clear a credit and criminal background check.

Other factors to be considered in licensing a business to sell lottery tickets would include accessibility to the public, sales history, length of time in business and types of products or services sold.

Thorson said he still is the only full-time employee of the Lottery Department, but job descriptions for upper-management positions have been written and soon will be advertised.