By Colleen Quinn
STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE
BOSTON -- The Massachusetts Lottery next month will launch a $30 instant ticket - the highest priced ticket in the agency's history - with a top prize of $15 million.
Known as "World Class Millions," the game's top prize will be the highest scratch-and-win payout ever offered by the agency, officials said at a meeting Tuesday.
Overall, the game will pay out more than $600 million in cash prizes. Ticket sales will begin at the end of April. Massachusetts will become the 14th state to offer a $30 instant ticket.
State lotteries looking for growth in instant ticket sales are putting major efforts behind higher priced games, according to Lottery Executive Director Beth Bresnahan.
New Hampshire earlier this month launched a $25 ticket, and Florida introduced two $25 games over the last two years that have been their best-selling games.
The Connecticut Lottery in 2002 launched the industry's first $30 ticket. The Texas Lottery offered a $50 game in May 2007.
Bresnahan said many lottery players who currently buy $5 tickets are jumping to higher priced games because the payout is so high. The prize payout for the new game is 80.7 percent, making it the highest payout percentage in the state lottery's instant ticket portfolio.
State Lottery officials estimate the $30 ticket will generate $125 million to $150 million in sales.
Lottery profits are returned to cities and towns in the form of local aid.
So far this year, lottery net profits are $46 million higher than last year. Sales in February were up $8 million compared to February 2013. Ticket sales last month were up for several games, including the multi-state game Powerball. A large jackpot drove up Powerball sales by $6 million last month, according to Lottery officials.