D.C.'s Supply of Instant Lottery Tickets Dwindling

Scratch-off lottery tickets are in very short supply in the District.

D.C. Lottery’s contract with its vendor that produces scratch-offs expired, leaving about a four-month supply left.

Weekly sales already are down $212,000 from last year.

“It could cost about $12 million because instant tickets are the most popular form of the lottery and they bring in about 25 percent of the income for the lottery,” said David Umansky, spokesman for D.C.s chief financial officer.

Scientific Games, the company that prints the instant lottery tickets, is located in Georgia. D.C. requires any company doing business with the city to hire local minority contractors to do 35 percent of the work, but Scientific Games said it needs no more than 17 percent of the work done locally. A waiver was denied, and the D.C. Council refused to give them a new four-year contract.

The bidding process for a new contractor takes longer than four months, which means the D.C. Lottery could run out of the instant tickets by the end of the year.

D.C. Lottery Director Buddy Roogow said if they can’t produce instant tickets, they will be paralyzed.

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