The Florida Lottery is cashing in on a new surge of popularity in playing the lottery.
Lottery officials are offering a series of holiday scratch-off tickets with names like "Gingerbread Dough" and encouraging folks to buy them as stocking stuffers.
It could well be the gift that keeps giving for the lucky winners.
Florida lottery ticket sales already are at an all-time high. Last week's mega Powerball jackpot of more than $500 million brought thousands of new players to the lottery, officials say. One-day sales of tickets in Florida on Wednesday, Nov. 28, the day of the drawing, topped $49 million.
“In our nearly 25 years of operations, the Florida Lottery has never seen a week like we saw last week,” said Florida Lottery Secretary Cynthia O’Connell.
With the surge of interest in playing the lottery, lottery officials are encouraging folks to buy special lottery scratch-off tickets as holiday gifts.
And as one Bradenton resident learned, the scratch off tickets can pay big money. Paul Catt, 67, claimed the $1 million prize in the 25th Anniversary Edition MILLIONAIRE Scratch-Off game.
There is a holiday game that offers a $1 million prize, as well. Of course people should realize that chances of winning big money are slim. The odds of winning listed for each game are the odds of winning any prize from $1 to the top prize.
The Florida Lottery web site details the holiday games:
"For just $1, you can purchase HOLIDAY CASH. The $2 Scratch-Off games HAPPY HOLIDAYS and the wonderfully scented GINGERBREAD DOUGH feature top prizes of $25,000 each. The $5 game HOLIDAY MAGIC offers top prizes of $250,000. Or, play the $10 game $1,000,000 WISHES for the chance to win $1 million!
"Lottery retailers will also provide specially-designed holiday gift envelopes for purchases of $5 or more, so customers can buy and "wrap" their Florida Lottery gifts with just one stop."
The Florida Lottery reinvests nearly 98 percent of revenue into the state’s economy through prize payouts, contributions to education, and money paid to Florida retailers, according to the lottery website.
Where to buy a ticket:
Go to Florida Lottery's website and enter your zip code for a list of retailers near you.
According to the search Bradenton has dozens of places that sell the Powerball tickets. Bradenton's winning $1 million scratch off ticket was sold last month at Stop N Pick, 4240 Cortez Road.
Here are the holiday games:Game Price Top Prize Overall Odds HOLIDAY CASH $1.00 $1,000 1-in-4.86 HAPPY HOLIDAYS $2.00 $25,000 1-in-4.36 GINGERBREAD DOUGH $2.00 $25,000 1-in-4.38 HOLIDAY MAGIC $5.00 $250,000 1-in-4.05 $1,000,000 WISHES $10.00 $1,000,000 1-in-3.26