EquiLottery Rebrands to Include Sports

CEO Brad Cummings

CEO Brad Cummings

EquiLottery, a gaming company best known for its live horse racing lottery game Win Place Show™, is transitioning its corporate identity and evolving its mission to better serve its lottery customers. Rebranded as EquiLottery Games, the company will expand its pioneering vision for live sports lottery games from a single horse racing product to now include baseball, basketball, football, golf, hockey, soccer and stock car racing.

These games are built on the same patented platform as Win Place Show, EquiLottery Games’ flagship product based on the results of live horse racing. Win Place Show will be launched on a trial basis by the Kentucky Lottery in March of 2019.

“We have always been a future-focused company, leading the way on products that combine the excitement of live sports with the lottery draw experience,” said EquiLottery Games CEO Brad Cummings. “Our original vision was to introduce live horse racing to new fans through government lotteries. We have now expanded our offerings to include lottery games based on all live sports. This solves a pain point for lotteries by allowing them to offer a form of sports wagering through their existing statutes and retail channels with low-risk games designed to appeal to their player base.”

EquiLottery Games will now introduce six new games for lotteries to offer their players in addition to Win Place Show. The team sport parlay game allows players to buy lottery tickets based on a slate of ten games from the big five professional sports in the U.S. — baseball, basketball, football, hockey and soccer. Matching the winner of all ten games returns an estimated top prize of $1,000. Car Cash features tickets listing three drivers in a 40-car race and pays out an estimated $50,000 top prize. Golfing for Gold is based on a ticket featuring three golfers and pays an estimated top prize of $2,000,000. All games are quick pick only, meaning the randomization happens at the pick while the draw is a live, authentic sporting event.

All EquiLottery duties will be assumed by EquiLottery Games, including the preparation for and launch of Win Place Show by the Kentucky Lottery beginning March 24, 2019. For more information on these new live sports lottery games, including specifics on how they work, as well as the vision for EquiLottery Games, visit www.EquiLotteryGames.com.

Press release

History of Lotteries in the United States

Guest Post

Gambling in the USA and other English colonies dates back to the 1600s. Initially, lotteries were created to build revenue in English colonies. Funds were used to build roads, churches, colleges, libraries and other public works.

Interestingly enough, the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University and Princeton were financed by lotteries. Not a lot has changed throughout history, as American lottery games today still contribute to public works as well.

Alexander Hamilton once said, “Everybody will be willing to hazard a trifling sum for the chance of considerable gain.” It still rings true today, as lotteries are now more popular than ever with the American population.

Playing PowerballLotteries weren’t always popular in the USA, though. There were a lot of lottery scandals in the 1800s and it wasn’t long before states started banning lotteries. By 1890, only two states offered legal lotteries (Louisiana and Delaware).

Just like when anything is banned in the country, the underground market thrived. Black market lotteries were common when lotteries were banned throughout most of the country and that held true until the 1900s.

The first American lottery that was government-run was in Puerto Rico (1934). The next government-run lottery wasn’t created until 1964 in New Hampshire. Today, 44 states offer state and national lotteries.

States that don’t offer lotteries are Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada and Utah. Despite not offering lotteries, it’s still possible to play in other American lotteries. You have several options available to you.

If you live near a state border you can travel to a state with lotteries and purchase tickets at a licensed retailer. You can also use a lottery ticket messenger service online. These services are great if you want to play other state lotteries too.

Today, lotteries raise billions annually to help support state budgets across the United States. Jackpots are bigger than ever and revenues will likely continue to grow, as more people start to play the big lotteries.

Popular Lotteries in the USA

Want a chance to win a billion dollars? The US Powerball had a $1,586,600,000 jackpot in 2016. That has been the only billion dollar jackpot in lottery history, but with popularity gaining, you expect even bigger jackpots in the future.

The next biggest jackpot won in US history was worth $656,000,000 (Mega Millions). These are the two largest American lotteries, but there are many other lotteries that turn Americans into millionaires every week.

The Cash4Life lottery in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Tennessee is another popular US lottery. You can even purchase tickets to the Cash4Life lottery using one of the online messenger services.

Other joint-state lotteries in the United States include 2by2, All or Nothing, Hot Lotto, Lucky for Life, Mega Hits and Tri-State lottery. These lotteries are available in multiple states throughout the country.

Instant Lottery Tickets

Some state lotteries in the USA even offer the ability to play instant win lottery tickets online. Have you ever played “Blazing Red 7s” or “Triple 777s”? You can play these online in some states in the USA.

You’re not going to win millions or billions of dollars playing instant win games, but there are still some big prizes to be won. Online lottery tickets are available on popular sites like PlayUSALotteries.com that offer the option to play for various stakes as well, offering the ability to win bigger payouts.

Keno is another game that’s available online in some states. Instant keno is quick to play and you can win some massive prizes if you hit a lot of numbers. Check your state’s lottery website to find out if you can play these games online.


Horse Racing and the Lottery – What’s the Better Bet?

by Anthony Kelzenberg for agameofskill.com

Playing the Odds?

Playing PowerballThis past week Powerball, the leading national lottery, made two changes to its program intended to produce larger, and more frequent, carryovers for its twice-weekly drawings.  First off, it DOUBLED the price of the wager from one dollar per combination to two dollars per combination.  To mitigate some of this increase in cost, the number of possible “Powerballs” in the sequence was cut from 39 to 35, meaning the odds of hitting the Powerball lottery on a single ticket went from 195 million to 1 to “only” 175 million to 1.  Here are the odds quoted for other activities seen in everyday life (source, Funny2.com).

Odds of…

Fatally slipping in bath or shower: 2,232 to 1

Injury from mowing the lawn: 3,623 to 1

Injury from using a chain saw: 4,464 to 1

Getting a hole in one: 5,000 to 1

Bowling a “300” game: 11,500 to 1

Being murdered: 18,000 to 1

Injury from fireworks: 19,556 to 1

Odds of dating a supermodel: 88,000 to 1

Being struck by lightning: 576,000 to 1

Winning an Olympic medal: 662,000 to 1

Drowning in a bathtub: 685,000 to 1

Being killed by lightning: 2,320,000 to 1

Being an astronaut: 13,200,000 to 1

Getting canonized (made a saint in the Catholic Church): 20,000,000 to 1

Killed on a 5-mile bus trip: 500,000,000 to 1


Looking at the above statistics, the ONLY activity more rare than hitting the Powerball lottery is dying while taking a very, very, short bus trip.  In fact, it is roughly 300 times more likely to be struck by lightning than it is to win the Powerball lottery.  I think it can be asserted that winning a large-payoff lottery is very difficult.  But what can we say about value of betting the lottery?  If it a “fair” wager?


Takeout and Cost of Entry

The “takeout” is the percentage of a wager pool that is removed before the remaining pool is distributed to the successful winners.  Ideally, a horseplayer should focus on pools having LOWER takeout, because more money is returned to successful bettors.  There are some wagers (Pick 5 or Pick 6 wagers, Super Hi5) where money is “carried over” because no one held a winning combination the previous day.  Sometimes these carryovers can make a pool with ZERO or NEGATIVE takeout if the carryover is large enough to compensate for the mandated takeout of the wager.

In the lottery (not just Powerball but all lotteries), the takeout is an abhorrent 50%.  In other words, 50 cents of every dollar spent on lotteries is taken from the players.  In pari-mutuel horse racing, where the bettors AS A GROUP set the payoffs, takeout varies, but typically it is 15% for win/place/show (“the straight pools”), 20% for exactas and daily doubles, and 25% for trifecta, superfecta, Pick 4s, Pick 5s, and Pick 6s (the “superexotics”).  The horseplayer, in addition to considering takeout and possible returns (the superexotics are generally the most difficult wagers to win, but have the best payoffs), should consider his or her EXPERIENCE and APTITUDES.  A losing wager is essentially a 100% takeout to the player.  When possible, horseplayers should stick with race tracks, types of races and track surfaces that produce success.  For example, if one isn’t good at evaluating unraced two year old maidens, pass those types of races until you feel you have a strong angle.

One more point to make on the superexotics – it is very common today for a superexotic combination to be purchased for 50 cents or less.  This gives the player the ability to “swing for the fences” by including more long shots on a budget, and I think this should be embraced by all players, even those not prone to stray from the straight pools or new players.  The reason is LEVERAGE.  Every added horse in a superexotic combination roughly ups they payoff by 5 to 10 times.  In past years even a $1 per combination cost could be prohibitive, but at 50 cents pretty much every fan has the potential to play a viable, yet modest trifecta or superfecta ticket for a total cost of $3 to $12, depending on ticket construction.  Also, this lower “cost of entry” is a possible alternative to lottery players that are seeing their costs to play not decrease, but indeed DOUBLE or TRIPLE (many daily lottery and scratchoff games are also increasing in cost).

As an experienced player, it’s amazing to me how little people in the “real world” understand how superexotic wagering functions at the race track and how it is possible to win a lot (maybe $1,000 to $2,000) without betting a lot (less than $20).  I would challenge the “powers that be” at the NTRA and the tracks to do a better job of educating not just regular, or semi-regular players, but the general public, that (1) As an industry we are making our games less expensive and easier to play, (2) Our games offer value not only to the professional player but to the novice as a game of chance and skill, and (3) We would dedicate a small percentage of national superexotic wagering to support equine health research, equine retirements and/or breakdown prevention.  There is a proven model for this approach – the pari-mutuel horse racing hub for Hong Kong, which handles more money than any other tote system in the world.  Most of the takeout in Hong Kong is used for local government-sanctioned projects and charities.


I have presented a case that the lottery is a terrible wager.  The odds of winning a super lottery like Powerball are incredibly against the player, and the takeout is outrageously high, even in the daily wagers. Consequently, the lottery is one of the worst bets in the marketplace.  Pari-mutuel horse racing, with its much lower takeouts, lower wagering costs and multiple wagering opportunities, is a much better system, not only for experienced players, but semi-regulars and novices to get involved at some level.

I challenge the NTRA and other industry leaders to recognize the positive aspects of modern-day pari-mutuel wagering and its potential not only to support our game, but support charities that as an industry we should get behind.

Anthony Kelzenberg has been a “Weekend Warrior,” since Alysheba won the Kentucky Derby in 1986.  His favorite horses are Sunday Silence (old school) and the current Australian undefeated super mare Black Caviar.  He is an occasional blogger at “The Flat Bet Prophet,” has lead several successful superexotic wagering syndicates and likes to think he has a good eye for a race horse.  He has been a featured guest on Derek Simon’s Twinspires.com radio show and can be contacted through Facebook.


A Simple Way to Get New Fans

The following piece appeared in the Oct. 8, 2011 edition of Thoroughbred Times and has been reprinted with their permission.

Racing needs to pay attention to P. T. Barnum


Mark Simon, editor of the Thoroughbred Times

Mark Simon, editor of the Thoroughbred Times

SOME racing executives or track owners believe the sport has to compete with lotteries. So they come up with bets that are difficult to win and are likely to produce a large payoff. That, they think, will draw attention to the sport, and result in more people coming to the track. It has not worked out that way. If racing wants to attract new fans, it is time to go back to the basics and keep things simple.

Bets such as the super high five, superfecta, and pick six can produce large payoffs, but they are not substitutes for lotteries or competition with lotteries. First, they appeal to two different audiences. Second, they are nothing alike.

Lotteries—and by the same token slot machines and video lottery terminals (VLTs)—require no skill or thought. The results are random. 

With super high fives, superfectas, and pick sixes, the results are not random. The horses with the better form, jockeys, trainers, class, post, distance proclivity, surface proclivity, et cetera, have a better chance of winning or finishing in the first four or five. Handicapping—skill—comes into play.

The large majority of those attracted to mindless lotteries and VLTs because they are mindless and random are poor candidates to ever be involved betting on races. First, they have to find themselves at the racetrack. Second, if they are at the track, how could they compete in a game of skill with no prior experience?

When that fan starts to look at each individual horse and why it could win, then you have someone who may move on to show or win betting.

In racing, those with more money, and who can cover more combinations, have a much greater chance of winning than someone who randomly plays a single ticket.

An advantage that lotteries have on racing is distribution, with countless stores and outlets, as opposed to racing, which has a brick-and-mortar facility, and maybe some off-track betting outlets. Lotteries reach millions of potential players daily, and they are well promoted through television and newspapers ads.

Racing has a difficult time promoting new bets, even to existing fans. The super high five was introduced in 2007, but has not gotten much traction. With a $1 minimum, it also is expensive, so not popular among those with little resources. In a ten-horse field, the super high five has 30,240 possible combinations.

Its unpopularity is evident on racing’s biggest day, the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, when all the big bettors come out and play in earnest since all the pools are large.

Last year, in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), the super high five pool was just $269,513. By comparison, the superfecta had a pool of $3,289,617, the trifecta a pool of $5,983,837, and the exacta a pool of $5,909,080.

Rather than try promoting an obscure bet with limited appeal, racing should introduce a simple wager easily understood by a novice. When a couple goes to the track and one knows a lot more about racing than the other, while one is betting superfectas and trifectas and exactas, the other can get their feet wet by betting an odd-even proposition, for example. If the race winner carries an odd-numbered saddle cloth, that is the bet winner, and if the winner carries an even-numbered saddle cloth, that is the bet winner. In a Breeders’ Cup race, that would give a novice bettor six or seven chances to win.

After a few races, someone making that bet may start to wonder why the payoffs between odd and even are not exactly the same, and you have the beginning of the education of a fan. When that fan starts to look at each individual horse and why it could win, then you have someone who may move on to show or win betting.

That process, of getting new fans started in the sport relatively simply so they are not intimidated to play or worried about looking foolish, is worth far more than the meager returns from an obscure, hard-to-win bet like the super high five.

P. T. Barnum had it figured out a century ago: No one ever got rich overestimating the intelligence of the American public. Do we need any more evidence today than slots, VLTs, and lotteries?

Let’s keep it simple, folks.

Mark Simon is editor of Thoroughbred Times. His e-mail address is msimon@thoroughbredtimes.com.