Lotto Plus players have lost the free Quick Pick numbers they got when they bought chances to win the twice-weekly jackpot offered by the National Lotteries Control Board (NLCB).
But the NLCB said yesterday that players now have a better chance to win Lotto Plus because one number has been removed from the six out of 36-number format and the minimum jackpot has been increased to $2 million.
The NLCB said it was attempting to revive interest in Lotto Plus by increasing the minimum jackpot to a guaranteed $2 million.
A number has also been removed from the selection list, so instead of having to choose five numbers out of 36, (plus the powerball number), players now pick five from 35.
However, regular players will no longer get the free Quick Pick numbers with every purchase of a ticket.
"Players will now have an easier opportunity to win a guaranteed $2 million, but to avoid raising the price, we decided to remove the free Quick Pick," a spokesman at the NLCB in Port of Spain told the Express in a telephone interview yesterday.
Ticket prices remain at $5 per chance.
The NLCB, which is a statutory board under the Ministry of Finance, officially launched the new format in line with a 50th anniversary of Independence promotion, with a minimum jackpot of $3.2 million (the existing jackpot plus the new $2 million base).
The new format of Lotto, the spokesman said, is more streamlined to international standards and best practice, as advised by the NLCB's international on-line gaming provider GTECH.
Last year the NLCB collected $1.7 billion in revenue and paid out $1.2 billion in prizes, including creating 12 new millionaires through Lotto Plus.
It contributed $250 million to Government's Consolidated Fund, the Business Express reported in April during an interview with NLCB chairman Mitra Mahabir.
The NLCB was established on August 12, 1968 by an Act of Parliament to promote and conduct national lotteries.
It offers several games including Play Whe, Pick Two and Cashpot.