For $20, a chance to win $1 million

Kansas Lottery officials say they don't know what to expect Sunday when tickets for the Holiday Millionaire Raffle go on sale.

But early interest in the contest hints that the $20 tickets may sell out well before the Dec. 30 deadline for buying them.

"They've been talking about it here," said Sharla Elmore, a bartender at the Lamplighter at 819 S. Woodlawn in Wichita. "They're anxious for it to start."

Lottery officials said the raffle will offer Kansans their best odds ever of winning $1 million. Because 150,000 tickets will be sold, the chances of winning — assuming the tickets sell out — will be 1 in 150,000.

The lottery also will award five $50,000 prizes and 500 $500 prizes.

If all tickets aren't sold, the payouts will be reduced accordingly.

Misty Morey, co-owner of Morey's Deli and Keno at 3316 S. Broadway, said she thinks the game will be a sellout.

"I know it goes through December, but I think it'll sell out way before that with all the talk from the customers," she said.

Ed Van Petten, the Lottery's executive director, said in a news release that several other states have conducted successful raffles.

"We anticipate a raffle will do well in Kansas, especially when players look at their chances of winning a million dollars," he said.

Each raffle ticket will contain a unique 6-digit number — ranging from 000001 through 150000. If the tickets sell out early, no more will be printed.

If tickets last, sales will continue through Dec. 30. The Holiday Millionaire Raffle drawing will be held on New Year's Eve.

The smaller prizes can be cashed in at retail locations. The $1 million and $50,000 prizes must be claimed at Kansas Lottery headquarters in Topeka or the Kansas Lottery office in Great Bend.

Lottery officials said they have received inquiries about the raffle from out-of-state residents interested in playing. You don't have to live in Kansas to play, they said, but tickets will be available only through officially licensed Kansas Lottery retailers. Internet and mail purchases are prohibited by federal law.

"We have no idea how long it will take to sell out the raffle," said Sally Lunsford, the Lottery's communications director. "Our best advice? If you want a ticket and the chance to win a million bucks before the end of the year, get your ticket or tickets right away when sales start on October 18."

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