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25.3.06

Lotto needs a diet 

Old NZ Lotto ticket New NZ Lotto ticket

On the left is an old ticket. On the right is a new one.
   I’m all for and creating an uglier as a result. I do remember that when the fixed-size ticket appeared a few years ago, it seemed wasteful.
   The game has changed once in format (then reverted), and the tickets have risen in price once, but really, get no more and no less value from the game today compared to 19 years ago, when it first débuted.
   Yet the New Zealand Lotteries’ Commission, as I understand it (i.e. this is hearsay), is three times larger today than when my friend Hilary began hosting the weekly draws on around 13 years ago. And no, she wasn’t the one who told me.
   While I like the compact tickets, my first thought at the counter was, ‘They’re paying the too much.’ For when these changes happen suddenly and we aren’t given a reason, we shan’t know what to think.
   Immediately I wondered why the Commission had trebled in size and why New Zealanders were paying for it, then I was reminded that I once planned a novel where the Lotto draws were used to pay out a slush fund for covert activities, where winning tickets could be printed off the computer at will.
   I can understand a doubling in size, since there is a mid-week draw now, too, but even then it would still be .
   I guess I could stop buying the tickets, but it has become a family tradition with my father and me. So the Commission knows it has a die-hard audience, including a lot of people with problems. And those people don’t really care if any of the money from the Commission is going to .
   In fact, the draw has been slimmed down: no longer do Hils and the other presenters talk about the good the Commission does in redistributing funds. That’s also understandable, since they used to send a crew to film the various places getting the money. However, a mention would still be nice, otherwise we’ll think the Commission is keeping the dough. Especially as the prizes are no bigger, and we just don’t know if it is giving out as much.
   Research shows that it is giving out more between 2004 and 2005, not that the public knows without downloading the annual reports. In that case, who is supporting the extra staff? I think it’s us, through our .
   But what I would like to see is this: if the tickets are getting slimmed down, and if the economy is so rotten right now, then the Commission should be downsized, if it is not doing that much more work than before. Trimming it to half its size, or even two-thirds, seems logical to me as an officious bystander. And, with the money saved from this and from the new tickets—which, believe me, would be a huge saving given my knowledge of —increase the grants. Or use it more wisely during the recession that this government is engineering.
   Otherwise, there’s going to be a rift between the at the and one at the level. And as we all know, that’s the first sign of an unstable .

Del.icio.us tags: branding | Lotto | New Zealand | government spending | tax
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Note

Entries from 2006 to the end of 2009 were done on the Blogger service. As of January 1, 2010, this blog has shifted to a Wordpress installation, with the latest posts here.
   With Blogger ceasing to support FTP publishing on May 1, I have decided to turn these older pages in to an archive, so you will no longer be able to enter comments. However, you can comment on entries posted after January 1, 2010.


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