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Life-size game helps lottery meet sales goal

The state Lottery sold more than $300,000 in lottery tickets at the West Virginia State Fair last month, thanks in part to Rich Uncle Pennybags.

Speaking at a Thursday meeting of the Lottery Commission, deputy marketing director Nikki Orcutt said the fair was the top retailer for lottery games in August.

Orcutt said a new Monopoly-themed lottery game featuring the board game's monocled mascot - and a life-size Monopoly board that used humans as game pieces - helped boost ticket sales this year.

She said sales of the Monopoly Millionaire scratch-off game, which costs $10 per play, are strong.

"Sales are looking very good for us," Orcutt said.

The State Fair is always a big moneymaker for the Lottery. Fairgoers purchased about $275,000 in tickets in 2012.

Officials hoped to bring in $300,000 in sales during this year's event. They were able to beat that goal, selling $302,430 during the fair's nine days. More than $297,000 of those sales were for instant games like Monopoly Millionaire.

While most other lottery revenue funds declined from 2012, both instant games and online games like MegaMillions and Powerball increased in sales for August.

The Lottery sold $9.4 million in instant games in August, compared to $8.8 million August 2012.

The state sold $8.3 million in online games last month, compared to $8 million a year earlier.

Racetrack video lottery, limited video lottery and table games revenues all dropped from August 2012 to August 2013.

Racetrack video lottery saw the biggest decline, from $58.5 million to $53.9 million.

Lottery officials said increased competition from casinos in neighboring states is to blame for the declines.

Also at Thursday's meeting, commission members fined Kelly McGill, owner of Kelly's Hot Spot II in Dunbar, $3,000 after technicians tampered with video lottery machines in the bar.

The commission in April fined Kenneth Howell and Lawson Mangum $1,000 each and placed them on six months' probation. The men, technicians for Clarksburg-based Shafer Amusements, admitted they "wired over" switches inside 10 video lottery machines.

Tim LaFon, McGill's lawyer, asked that the commission not fine McGill for the tampering, because he said there was "not one shred of evidence" showing she was complicit in the acts.

"I'm not sure she could rewire one if she wanted to. If a machine breaks down, she calls the technicians," he said.

Lottery director John Musgrave said state rules require license holders take responsibility for machines covered by their license.

McGill refused to speak to the Daily Mail about the fine.

Commissioners also fined the American Legion Post 19 in Logan $5,000 for various offenses, including allowing patrons to play video lottery machines on credit and holding checks.

No members of the post were present for the commission's meeting.

Contact writer Zack Harold at 304-348-7939or zack.harold@dailymail.com


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