The D.C. lottery board yesterday unveiled the city's second lottery game, a new contest that raises the value of the richest tickets from $10,000 to $20,000 and is expected to increase by 50 percent the yield to the District treasury.
Douglass W. Gordon, the board's executive director, said the new contest -- the "D.C. Double" -- will begin next Wednesday and run for eight to 12 weeks. Thirty million $1 tickets will be distributed, Gordon said, roughly 10 million more than were printed for the District's first lottery, which began last Aug. 25 and ended Wednesday.
The rules of the second game will be similar to the first. Ticket buyers must scratch a thin latex coating from the tickets to reveal three rows of numbers. If three identical numbers appear on a ticket, the ticket holder wins that amount. For example, if $100 appears three times on a ticket, it is worth $100.
But the game has a "double" feature not present in the first game. If it shows two identical numbers plus a star, a ticket will be worth double the number shown or, in the case of the example above, $200.
The new tickets will show the same numbers as the original lottery: $2, $5, $10, $100, $1,000 and $10,000. Any number that appears twice will be doubled if a star appears on the card. The most valuable tickets will disclose two $10,000 figures and a star and will be worth $20,000.
While he said he had no figures on the odds for purchasing a winning ticket with a star, Gordon said the basic odds for buying some sort of winning ticket would average about one in 10.
Tickets will be redeemed in the same fashion as those of the first game: prizes under $100 will be paid by the merchant who sold the ticket, and prizes over $100 will be paid by the board after winning tickets are verified.
At the end of the game, Gordon said, there will be a drawing from $100 and $200 winning tickets for a grand prize award of $1 million, to be paid out as $50,000 a year for 20 years.
Gordon said the D.C. Double should yield about $9 million to the city, compared to $6 million from the first game. He said the increased yield is the product of growth in both the number of tickets and the number of licensed distributors.
The lottery is set up, he said, to return approximately 46 percent of its total revenues to players, a minimum of 30 percent to the District government, 6 percent to agents who sell the tickets, 9 percent to the companies contracted to design the game, 4 percent to advertising and the remainder to operating costs.
Total revenues may vary slightly, he said, depending on how many winning tickets are not redeemed. Holders of winning tickets have a year after the close of the game to claim their prize money, although to be eligible for the first game's $1 million drawing, $100 winning tickets must be redeemed by 5 p.m. Nov. 16. Some tickets from the first game may still be sold, Gordon said, but no more will be distributed to the agents.
Gordon said the new game is being promoted solely to give players in the District "new features," and will involve no increased costs for the city.