The struggling economy has fewer people willing to gamble on a lottery ticket.

The struggling economy has fewer people willing to gamble on a lottery ticket.


The Kansas Lottery said sales for all types of games and tickets for the week ending March 21 were down 4.3 percent from the same week a year ago. Powerball tickets were down even more, 12 percent below the same period a year ago.


Last year, Kansas Lottery sales were down 5 percent, mirroring declines for state lotteries across the country. California and Indiana saw lottery revenue dip 10 percent, Iowa declined 6 percent and Florida fell 8 percent. Missouri's sales were flat.


"When times are tough, people cut back on nonessential items such as entertainment, and, of course, the lottery is entertainment," said Sally Lunsford, director of communications for the Kansas Lottery.


She also said ticket buyers may be discouraged by fewer big jackpots, saying the most sales come when the grand prize is $100 million or more. Saturday's Powerball drawing was worth $94 million.


"Some people play only when the jackpot gets huge," Lunsford said.


Clarence Rayton of Lawrence doesn't follow that philosophy, buying a couple of Kansas Lottery Instant scratch-off ticket every day.


"If I win anything I just reinvest it into more tickets," the 49-year-old said.


He said he won $10,000 in September, using the money to pay some bills and help a relative pay for a funeral.


Rayton said the nation's economic recession hasn't caused him to stop playing the lottery.


He buys his tickets at a Food Mart that sold $378,668 in lottery tickets last year, the highest lottery sales total in Lawrence.


Manager C.W. Lee said a considerable number of lottery sales take place in the mornings, when people are headed to work. But the most lottery sales are made on the weekends. He has a stack of lottery confirmation cards showing that nearly 100 people have won $500 from tickets purchased at his store.