Lottery Officials Balk At Recommendation To Decrease Prizes

Cleveland, OH (AP) - Ohio Lottery Commission say that cutting prize payouts would hurt profits instead of helping them. Lottery officials met yesterday in Cleveland and responded to a report from new Governor Strickland's transition advisers.

The advisory panel last month asked lottery commissioners to consider scaling back the 59 percent it returns in prizes. That return was higher in 2004 than what Michigan and Pennsylvania paid out.

Commission Chairman Mark Dottore says the commission has an ongoing debate about prize sizes. Ohio lottery sales are up nearly 16 percent since 2001. But the amount of money that schools received from profits has increased by less than two percent.

Officials say lowering prizes on instant scratch-off tickets would hurt sales too much.