Due to dwindling sales, a lottery game administered by the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL) and played in some northern states for almost 20 years has come to an end.
The lottery game has had dozens of jackpot winners, including one for $2.8 million in Idaho in June 2007, and tens of thousands of dollars in pay outs. Sales however for Wild Card 2 have been on the decline with the introduction of new games. According to lottery officials in South Dakota, North Dakota, Idaho and Montana, the game has reached the end of its life cycle.
Lottery games are dependent on their sales and Wild Card 2’s year-to-date ticket sales are down approximately 6.5 percent from last year, according to the MUSL. South Dakota Lottery spokeswoman Kelly Thompson said, “The decision to end the game was based on waning popularity overall in all states that offer (it), and wasn’t based on the performance of a single state,” according to the Associated Press.
In 1994, with a starting jackpot of $150,000, Wild Card 2 got its start as the Tri-West Lotto in Montana, South Dakota and Idaho. In 1998 it became the Wild Card game, with a $200,000 starting jackpot. The game was offered in the three states and Nebraska, according to the MUSL. Short lived, by 1998’s end Nebraska dropped the game, just a few months prior to its name change to Wild Card 2 and starting jackpot of $100,000. In 2004, North Dakota joined the game, and it stayed the same until 2013 when the starting jackpot was increased to $200,000.
Over the years, the lottery game has paid out approximately $30 million in South Dakota, $14.5 million in North Dakota, and more than $24 million in Idaho dating back to fiscal 2001, as far as records go. Figures for Montana were not immediately available.
Wednesday’s final jackpot drawing was for $375,000. The winner, if there is one, will have the usual six months to claim the money. South Dakota Lottery Executive Director Norm Lingle, said, “If there’s no jackpot winner for Wednesday’s draw, the remaining funds will be divided among the four states that offer the game.”