Pa. Lottery is ‘Gussied’ up, but link to sales isn’t clear

    Atul Amin sells Powerball tickets at his news stand in Philadelphia in February. Revenue from jackpot games is about 23 percent below last year's level, according to the Pennsylvania Lottery director.(AP file photo)

    Atul Amin sells Powerball tickets at his news stand in Philadelphia in February. Revenue from jackpot games is about 23 percent below last year's level, according to the Pennsylvania Lottery director.(AP file photo)

    The return of Gus the groundhog (“Keep on scratchin’!”) as the Pennsylvania 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,” Lottery Executive Director Drew Svitko told a Senate panel.

    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 had a record-setting $3.82 billion in sales.

    The Lottery funds programs benefiting Pennsylvania seniors.

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