Depicted are scratch-off tickets for three games that have been on the market for months and for which few top prizes remain. The state lottery says it needs to do a better job closing out "stale inventory." For contrast, "Double Your Dollars" is a new game for which all the top prizes remain in circulation. (Left to Right) "Big Play Crossword," one of six $100,000 prizes remaining; "Ravens" game, one of five $100,000 prizes remaining; "Diamonds & Dollars," one of six $50,000 prizes remaining; "Double Your Dollars," six of six $50,000 prizes remaining.
Depicted are scratch-off tickets for three games that have been on the market for months and for which few top prizes remain. The state lottery says it needs to do a better job closing out "stale inventory." For contrast, "Double Your Dollars" is a new game for which all the top prizes remain in circulation. (Left to Right) "Big Play Crossword," one of six $100,000 prizes remaining; "Ravens" game, one of five $100,000 prizes remaining; "Diamonds & Dollars," one of six $50,000 prizes remaining; "Double Your Dollars," six of six $50,000 prizes remaining. (Baltimore Sun Photo / Baltimore Sun)

The Maryland Lottery endured a "challenging" month in September, partly due to bad luck for the state, a report said.

Sales of draw games – such as Powerball, Pick 3 and Pick 4 – were down in September compared to the same month a year earlier.

Advertisement

"With the exception of Racetrax (which increased 13 percent) and an influx of $1.4 million from Cash4Life, all other draw games showed a total decline of $4.7 million from 2015," said a staff report prepared for today's meeting of the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission.

The declines were party due to "luck of the draw," the report said.

The month saw the Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots won on consecutive days, meaning both jackpots then reset to their lowest amounts. The games usually attract the most interest when nobody wins quickly and the jackpot repeatedly rolls over.

In the last fiscal year, the lottery reported record sales, buoyed by the increased popularity of scratch-off tickets and a $1.6 billion jackpot that revived a slumping Powerball game.

Sales of scratch-off games were up 1.7 percent in September, the report said. Overall lottery sales were down 2.6 percent for the month.

twitter.com/sunjeffbarker

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement