Lottery Disaster: Monopoly Millionaires Club Calls Halt To Ticket Sales After Just 2 Months

Jonathan Vankin - Author

Dec. 13 2014, Updated 4:21 p.m. ET

The nation’s newest lottery game, Monopoly Millionaires Club, barely passed “Go.” The multi-state game, which began on October 19, will become a thing of the past before the year is out with the day after Christmas now designated as the final day Monopoly Millionaires Club tickets will be sold.

Why are lottery officials in 22 states and Washington D.C. pulling the plug on the new lottery game already? Simple. The game just isn’t selling enough tickets.

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“Sales for the game have not met the lottery industry’s projections and have continued to decline nationally since its introduction,” said Gary Grief, director of the Texas Lottery. “Unfortunately, players have not embraced the game as anticipated, and our options to change the game while it is being sold are limited in scope and challenging to implement.”

The nation’s newest lottery game, Monopoly Millionaires Club, will end December 26, doomed by low sales thanks to small prize amounts and a high ticket price.

In other words, at the rate Monopoly MIllionaires Club was going, the lottery would give out more money in prizes than it took in from ticket sales — obviously an unacceptable situation.

The cancellation leaves just two Monopoly Millionaires Club drawings remaining — December 19 and December 26. Any prizes won in those, and all previous drawings will be paid out, and players will still have the same time period — 180 days in most states — to claim those prizes.

The Monopoly Millionaires Club lottery got off to a promising start, awarding a $21 million jackpot in only its third-ever drawing. But in the end, players apparently did not want to pay $5 per ticket for a chance at winning no more than $25 million — the maximum amount for the soon-to-be-defunct lottery game’s jackpot.

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The two other nationwide lottery games, Mega Millions and Powerball, have accustomed lottery players to jackpots that regularly soar well into the nine-figure range. For that matter, the minimum Powerball jackpot is $40 million, $15 million more than the Monopoly Millionaires Club maximum.

The Mega Millions drawing on Tuesday, December 16, features a jackpot of $133 million. But Mega Millions tickets cost only a buck each, while Powerball tickets sell for $2.

The concept driving Monopoly Millionaires Club was not the top jackpot, however, but the $1 million second prize, which would be given out to more players than in either Mega Millions or Powerball. But in today’s lottery market, a flat $1 million prize failed to fire the imaginations of lottery enthusiasts.

“Lotteries developed the Monopoly Millionaires Club game concept based on feedback from players across the nation who desired a game with the potential to make many people millionaires rather than just one person winning many millions,” said Alice Garland, director of the North Carolina lottery.

But that concept, plus a complicated set of rules, appears to be what doomed the Monopoly Millionaires Club. Lottery officials say that the game could return in 2015 with a new set of rules designed to make the game more attractive.


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