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Hot Lotto to stop selling tickets, North Dakota Lottery says

Holiday store cashier Jenelle Thompson rings up a batch of lottery tickets for a customer on Friday, Jan. 8, 2015, in Grand Forks, N.D., for Saturday's record Powerball drawing. photo by Eric Hylden/Forum News Service

Hot Lotto soon will stop selling tickets after disappointing sales, North Dakota lottery officials announced Friday.

The game will cease operations in 14 jurisdictions, including North Dakota, according to a news release from the Attorney General’s office. The last drawing will be Oct. 28.

Sales for the game have dropped off in the last several years in multiple jurisdictions, including North Dakota, said Ryan Koppy, sales and marketing manager for the the North Dakota Lottery. There was a group decision by the Multi-State Lottery Association to end the game, he added.

“All games go through a life cycle,” Koppy said. “This game particularly hit the end of its life cycle.”

Sales for other games are doing “fine,” Koppy said.

Hot Lotto came to the state in June 2004 and sold for $1. Players could buy a multiplier option, known as the Sizzler, for another dollar to triple the winnings.

The game dished out more than $12.5 million to players who bought tickets in the state. In 2015, two of the largest winning tickets for the game paid out $90,000 to two winners each, according to the state Lottery’s website. The two tickets were sold in Minot and Wilton, N.D.

On a national scale, the largest known winner was John Hall of Iowa with $19.97 million.

Lotto America will replace Hot Lotto in November, Koppy said. Lotto America was renamed Powerball and has been reformatted. That also will cost a $1 to play with additional options.

Sales for Hot Lotto will end at 8:58 p.m. Oct. 28. Winnings that are not claimed or are not won will be used to promote other lottery games, according to news reports.

April Baumgarten

April Baumgarten joined the Grand Forks Herald May 19, 2015, and covers crime and education. She grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, where her family raises registered Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at Jamestown (N.D.) College, now known as University of Jamestown. During her time at the college, she worked as a reporter and editor-in-chief for the university's newspaper, The Collegian. Baumgarten previously worked for The Dickinson Press as a city government and energy reporter in 2011 before becoming the editor of the Hazen Star and Center Republican. She then returned to The Press as a news editor, where she helped lead an award-winning newsroom in recording the historical oil boom.

Have a story idea? Contact Baumgarten at 701-780-1248.

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