With multistate, mega jackpots, State Lotto revenue is falling

New York's venerable twice-weekly Lotto drawing continues its long-term decline in an age of multistate mega jackpots.

Even as overall lottery revenues grew, receipts from Lotto dropped from $137.5 million in 2005 to a projected $44 million for the state fiscal year ending March 31. That's according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's recent budget proposal.

Players and analysts say Lotto is simply less alluring than the six-figure jackpots of Powerball and Mega Millions, which are sold around the nation.

Lotto was introduced as a pick-your-own numbers game in 1978, and an early jackpot was $250,000. A state lottery report from 1983 notes that Lotto's popularity was slow in coming, "but once it did the success was phenomenal."

Lotto now represents a small slice of the state's lottery revenue.