Lotto Draw Changes
Mr PAUL McLEAY: My question without notice is directed to the Minister for Gaming and Racing. What is the latest information on Lotto in New South Wales?
Mr SPEAKER: Order! The Minister will ignore interjections and proceed with his response.
Mr GRANT McBRIDE: The Lotto draw on Channel 9 is arguably the most regularly watched few minutes of television in New South Wales, with an average of more than 700,000 viewers.
Mr SPEAKER: Order! The honourable member for Willoughby will come to order.
Mr GRANT McBRIDE: Today I can announce some changes to Monday and Wednesday Lotto draws.
Mr SPEAKER: Order! I call the honourable member for Lane Cove to order for the second time.
Mr GRANT McBRIDE: From 15 April the number of balls used in midweek Lotto draws will increase from 44 to 45. For the first time, all three Lotto draws will use 45 balls, allowing Lotto players to complete one entry form for Monday, Wednesday and Saturday Lotto. The new Monday and Wednesday Lotto format will simplify playing the game and include a new feature unique to lottery games in Australia. This new feature will see prizes increase in the lower divisions for the benefit of regular players. These new changes are expected to significantly increase prizes for division 4 and division 5 winners. In addition, if the division 1 prize does not go off, all other division winners will see their winning dividend increase.
Mr SPEAKER: Order! There is too much audible conversation in the Chamber.
Mr GRANT McBRIDE: Each week, 1.6 million adults play a lottery game in New South Wales, while 3.3 million New South Wales adults play at least once a year. The ongoing success of lottery games in New South Wales results from regular innovations, which provide lottery players a range of game options. The two most significant recent changes have been the launch of Saturday Lotto in New South Wales in December 2000 and the restructure of the $2 Jackpot Lottery in March 2002. This year Lotto celebrates its twenty-fifth anniversary in New South Wales, and the game has flourished since its early beginnings, to the point where it is well known, highly regarded and popular with players.
Mr SPEAKER: Order! I call the honourable member for Upper Hunter to order.
Mr GRANT McBRIDE: In that time Lotto has forever changed the lives of its 632 millionaires as well as millions of other prize winners. The three equal biggest winners in Lotto were all created on 4 November 1996 when three Lotto entries shared in the $15 million first division prize pool for Lotto's anniversary draw. Each entry collected $5 million, the winners instantly becoming multimillionaires. In Lotto's 25 years a few interesting statistics have emerged, and this is worth listening to. The numbers most infrequently drawn are 37, 3, 30, 11, 22 and 1. The most common winning entry, the standard 18-game auto pick, costs $8.80. Each year hundreds of Lotto wins continue to be unclaimed. I urge lottery players to check old tickets and present them to be checked for prizes.
Mr SPEAKER: Order! I call the honourable member for Lane Cove to order for the third time.
Mr GRANT McBRIDE: I have quite a comprehensive document I will refer to if members opposite continue to interject. New South Wales Lotteries is still waiting to pay a $3 million win.
Mr SPEAKER: Order! There is far too much audible conversation in the Chamber. The Chair is having difficulty hearing the Minister.
Mr GRANT McBRIDE: I remind players that the best way to ensure they never miss out on collecting on a Lotto win is to fill in a registration form with their local Lotteries agent. These changes will come into effect from 15 April, with the first draw taking place on Monday 19 April. New South Wales Lotteries will provide comprehensive details of the changes to players and to its 1,400 Lotto retailers well in advance of the first draw.
Questions without notice concluded.