FL Considers Keno-Style Game

TAMPA – The Florida Lottery is considering a new game that is fundamentally different from any other it offers.

It’s called Ten-O, and it would give people a chance to play 17 times a day, said a Lottery report.

The most frequent pick-the-numbers game in play now is Cash 3, which has drawings twice a day.

Ten-O is one of several possible new games detailed in the report, including:

  • Lucky 4 Life, a biweekly game in which people can win $1,000 a week for life
  • A Lucky 4 Life multistate game
  • Make Me a Millionaire, a daily bingo-type game in which a player could win a $1 million to $5 million annuity, depending on the ticket value

Ten-O is part of the Lottery’s efforts to attract new, younger players, said Lottery Secretary Leo DiBenigno.

The agency hasn’t made a final decision on Ten-O or any other new game, DiBenigno said, “but Ten-O intrigues me and intrigued many other people here at the Lottery, because we felt it might have the potential of reaching players in different categories.”

The hourly results would be presented on the Internet.

The Web is “sort of the holy grail of what we’re trying to pursue,” he said. Lotteries are looking for games with “a Web component, new media, social networking components. We’re trying to use these marketing techniques in our products, and felt Ten-O had real potential there.”

Ten-O is similar to the gambling parlor game Keno. For each of the 17 hourly draws, players would pick 10 numbers from 1 to 80 and the lottery would pick 20 random numbers from the 80. The drawings would go from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Tickets would cost $1 and $2 and the top prize would be $250,000.

Among the “pros” for the game listed in the lottery report, from May 7, 2009: “Flash animated drawings could appeal to younger market” that uses the Internet. The “cons” include “Infrequent top prize winners.”

The May 7 report was among a series of e-mail obtained by The Tampa Tribune.

The Lottery is always looking for new games to keep people interested, DiBenigno said.

New scratch-off games come out every few months and people “go crazy” wanting to buy the tickets, said manager Jinal Patel at Buddy and Danny Grocery in Sulphur Springs.

The Lottery hasn’t offered a new pick-the-numbers game since Powerball started last year, though it has added new features to the older games, such as Lotto Extra, which allows players to multiply non-jackpot Lotto winnings.

The Florida Lottery is also pursuing branding partnerships with professional sports teams, particularly football in the fall, DiBenigno said.

“Being able to merge the Florida Lottery brand, that pink flamingo, with the brand of major sports teams like those NFL teams is really a win-win for us.”

The partnership could benefit the teams by helping them reach new fans and it helps the Lottery “by leveraging all the positive brand recognition that the Bucs, the Jaguars and the Dolphins would bring to the games.”

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