State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Katie Meyer covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

PA Lottery is Gussied up, but link to sales isn't clear

Written by Mary Wilson | Mar 9, 2016 3:47 AM

Courtesy of Pennsylvania Lottery

The return of Gus the groundhog ("Keep on scratchin'!") as the state Lottery's mascot doesn't appear to have hurt ticket sales in the four months he's been back.

Gus was dropped in early 2012, after appearing in Lottery ads for eight years.

The woodchuck was brought back in November.

By recent accounts, he's been well-received.

"It absolutely was a great decision for us and has had a positive effect on not just consumer sentiment but sales as well," said Lottery Executive Director Drew Svitko told a Senate panel this week.

 But recent Lottery sales appear to be about more than just Gus.

The record-breaking Powerball jackpot made January the best single month in the Lottery's 45-year history. And in the 2014-15 fiscal year, which ended before Gus came back, the Lottery made a record-setting $3.82 billion in sales.

The Lottery funds programs benefiting Pennsylvania seniors.

As a note of disclosure, the lottery drawings are produced and broadcast by WITF.

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