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TV game show spurs Ohio lottery sales By Ken Davis CLEVELAND, Ohio UB-With state lottery tickets clutched in moist hands, one of every five Ohioans watches "Buckeye 300," the state lottery drawing decked out as a 30-minute TV game show. Maybe the players deadpan the camera. Maybe the proceedings have at any given moment all the warmth and spontaneity of a Las Vegas croupier. It matters not. Something like $1.1 million are up for grabs, which glues inveterate lottery gamblers to the channel that's going to tell them if they won or lost. In the nine Ohio cities in which it is shown, the weekly lottery television show, each Thursday at 7:30 p.m. pulls in an average 42 per cent of the viewing audience, according to Nielsen ratings--even against network biggies. Two other state lotteries--Illinois and Rhode Island--have followed the Ohio lead and gone on the tube, and virtually every state lottery in the land is interested in television. Connecticut plans a fall production and Michigan goes on the air this summer. New York televised a drawing in July, and might do so regularly in the fall or winter; The smash success of "Buckeye. 300" means, a lot of money to the state of Ohio. Early in December, lottery sales averages about $1.4 million a week. Along came the television show in February and sales are running stable at about $2.5 million a week today. The Ohio lottery, celebrating its* first anniversary this month, has grossed more than-$100 million in sales its first year, up 10 per cent from earlier projections. The state gets about 43 per cent of the. gross take, the ticket buyers about 45 per cent. Administrative costs are allotted 12 per cent, although lottery officials say these costs have never run that higk The state's new television hit This Week at Sunrise Charles Hudson, who has just won $300,000 in the televised Ohio State Lottery, wears the standard contestant's blank stare. can't claim all the credit for the increased lottery business. A new game, Lucky Buck, in which supplemental lottery tickets are sold for $1 and the odds are somewhat better for the player than in the regular drawing, has spurred ticket sales, too. But television turned the Ohio lottery around. Like all state lotteries, sales boomed at the outset, then began a decline that had the commission looking for hew sales , gimmicks last year. President Gerald Ford gave them one Dec. 27,1974. He signed enabling legislation lifting the FCC bah on broadcast promotion of lotteries. Two months later, to the day, the Ohio-lottery television show aired over WEWS-TV in GET A BIG DISCOUNT ON AIR CONDITIONING AND HEATING IF YOU ACT NOW- Moekl 38SE illustrated CHARLIE KERSTEM WANTS TO CLOSE ONLY . Cleveland. Now, five months later, Charleston's.center of arts andf " ---- --.--.*Â·Â· education is open to the public freejf Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. 4 to 4 p.m M Sunday 2 to 5 p.m., closed | Monday. . Art Gallery "Twelfth Annual Rental Gallery! Exhibition." 0 Photography Exhibit by Willf Endres. 4j Children's Museum I Life on the Seashore, Ancient Greece, Galaxy Room, Live Animals, Fish, Hall Features, Stamp Club, Hapgood Doll House, Antique Study Club, and Winnie the Pooh. Garden Center -Cacti Exhibit. Planetarium "Fire in the Sky," 3 p.m., Aug. 3. "The Current Sky," 1:30 p.m., Aug. 6. Special Events Greek Folk Dancing at 1 p.m. Aug. 3. Judges' Council at 10 a.m. Aug. 4 Story Telling at 10 a.m., Aug. 7 the show clobbers the opposition on Thursday nights. "There were two months of busy scrambling to meet that air date," said Don Marcus, president of the Marcus Advertising Co. of Cleveland, who sold the idea to the commission. : . Marcus suggested a game show , format. The show costs $4,000 a week to produce. Syndication in the nine Ohio cities brings in $3,800. So the Ohio Lottery Commission is paying $200 a week to stage a smash hit. Each local'station collects the revenue from commercials. The Nielsen station ratings for May gives an idea how popular the 1 show is in Ohio. In Cleveland, for Carrier example, .WES-TV is competing against Treasure Hunt and Hollywood Squares, both network shows. Against this opposition WEWS gets 43 per cent of the audience against 20 per cent for Treasure Hunt and 25 per cent for "Hollywood Squares." In Columbus, "Buckeye 300" captures 37 per cent of the audience against."Hollywood Squares," 22 per cent, and "Wild Kingdom," 13 per cent. Dayton gives Buckeye 300 an incredible 55 per cent of the audience against "Name That Tune," and Cincinnati goes for 43 per cent against "Hollywood Squares" with 28 per cent. In Steubenville, the smallest of the syndicated markets, the lottery captures 45 per cent of the audience against "Hollywood Squares," "Lets Make a Deal" and "Dragnet." The story may well be even more incredible in Toledo, where the lottery appears on WDHO, a UHF station, and runs second to "Truth or Consequences" on VHF. 1C beats "Wild Kingdom" on another NHF station. The lottery gets 28 per cent of the market against "Truth or Consequences" 44 and "Wild Kingdom's "24 per cent. "We have certain disadvantages," said Dave Bieber, the freelance producer Marcus brought from Chicago to mount the Buckeye 300 show. "We can't screen the players. We have to take what the luck of the draw provides. We can't go for personality. "What has saved the show is the script. Everything is scripted except what the players say. The players are those lottery ticket holders who have won $15,000 prizes in the previous week's drawings. The number varies: as few as five and as many as 12. Winning this prize gives them the right to participate in a game on Our wo* trews nwke at mwMf on o fal schedule. Fh vÂ«v horn* hit our schedule. Wc'l fit your home hi* a tow price. 191BIH 20 MORECENTRAl AiCMOirnMNG AUDKATIIG JOBS DURING AUGUST SAVE .../ZOO ROOM AIR CONDITIONER TRADE-INS ACCEPTED Offer may include Carrier furnace, humidifier, electronic air cleaner (Air Pollution Remover) and Room Air Conditioners. This Offer Limited to First 20 Customers ROM AIR CONDITIONERS NEAR WHOLESALE LONC TERM RANK LOANS ARRAKD FOR YOU Â· Free Surveys KERSTEM ENGINEERING CO. $13 Ten. lie, Dill 342-5118 (Tdephoie Answers 24 tars) television that basically is last man out. The players sit in twox. rows on the left, facing a big board with squares. On the back of the squares are numbers placed there at the last minute by a staff member of the state auditor's office. The numbers represent the seat numbers of the players and each seat number is repeated twice. Each player picks a square in sequence. When a seat number comes up a second time, the player in that seat is out of the game. The lasfc, man left wins $300,000, the next to ~ last $60,000 and the third to last $30,000. Before this game, the single number of three digits for the statewide lottery of that week is drawn. After the elimination game, the three-digit and six-digit Lucky Buck winning numbers are chosen, followed by the drawing of the six- digit weekly lottery number. The set is the expected flashy fare, designed so that one of four cameras always is on the contestants' faces. It seldom sees much beyond a rather dazed glare, which "doesn't change much--win, lose or draw. The players' families are a different matter. Each contestant may bring relatives or friends. A recent show, normal in this respect, produced 78 such relatives and friends rooting in the bleachers. The winner was a 21-year-old man married three months to a tiny blonde. She and 19 other relatives poured out on the floor to sob and laugh for the cameras, while her husband desperately hugged everyone close by--his slightly glazed look never changing. ST DUPONT TEDLAR I ALUMINUM AWMNfi SALES 3 PHONE 722-3238 Sunnier Clearance OUR ENTIRE STOCK OF ARTIFICIAL SUMMER FLOWERS HWow Entire Stock 3 Ft. to 7 Ft. TREES BUSHES! See our Bright New Selection of New fall Foliage ,. Oir39thYeirMIKIKIÂ»OOIÂ«EATIIERBETTER DYNAMCDISPIAYS Corner of Va. St. West at Tern Ave. Phone 342-1033 Open Men. thra Fri 9 AJN. to 5 PJd.-Sot. f tl Neon Use Yew lankAmerkard or Master Choree i\ -:VA : Us'