Hot Lotto, which is currently played in the states of Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee and West Virginia, started life in April 2002, offering ticket holders a similar game style to Powerball, but with more favourable odds and a starting jackpot of $1 million. However, over time the game has fallen out of favour with American bounty hunters, especially when both Powerball and Mega Millions regularly present players with the chance to win nine-figure rewards.
Following the announcement, Iowa Lottery CEO Terry Rich admitted that the game had run its course and that ticket sales were plummeting. In a statement, Rich said: “Any game has a lifespan. Lotteries are always looking for new ways to provide variety and choices for our players, and we do our best to update our game offerings over time. It takes months if not years of planning and programming to bring about changes in our lotto games, like this decision to end the Hot Lotto game.”
Players in Iowa will be especially saddened by this development, with players in the state regularly profiting from the game. A total of eight jackpot winners have bought their tickets in The Hawkeye State, including the recipient of the largest Hot Lotto prize in history, a $19.97 million sum collected by Indianola resident John Hall.
There is some good news for the nation’s lottery lovers, with the relaunch of Lotto America expected in November. The game, which originally ran between 1988 and 1992 when it was replaced by Powerball, will take place on Wednesdays and Saturdays and cost $1 to enter.
Players will be required to select five numbers from a pool of 52 and one Star Ball from a separate pool ranging from 1 to 10, with the jackpot being awarded to any player able to match all five main numbers and the Star Ball.