Colorado could suffer from 'jackpot fatigue'

Posted at 9:40 PM, Jan 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-14 00:09:25-05

Several first-time Powerball players stood in line Wednesday, hoping to hit the historic $1.5 billion jackpot -- the largest in U.S. history. 

Among them was Gary Ascuitto. 

"Will you keep playing after this big jackpot?," asked Denver7 reporter Marc Stewart. “If I win something. I don't know. Maybe," Ascuitto said.             

That is the struggle facing Colorado lottery leaders -- keeping sales strong when the jackpot eventually returns to a lower level. 

"We're in unchartered territory," said Colorado lottery director Laura Solano. “We just don't know what the impact will look like on this mega jackpot a year from now," she said.

In the past, the lottery has suffered from what's known as "Jackpot Fatigue" where some players hold off until the prize is massive. If people don't play, Colorado parks and schools could suffer.

Powerball has changed, by adding more numbers to the mix this past fall. The goal? To have bigger jackpots and more winners.

This potential billion dollar bonanza wasn't necessarily part of the plan.

“There's not a crystal ball. And it's not a science," said Solano.

The Colorado Lottery reported 5 Coloradans had won $100,000 and 10 won $50,000 from Wednesday night's drawing.


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