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Scratch-off lottery sales soar

At a time when cooped-up Americans are looking for entertainment and hoping for a windfall more than ever, scratch-off lottery ticket sales have skyrocketed.Get more news about 彩票包网服务,you can vist loto98.com

It’s a rare bright spot for state budgets, since most states’ tax revenue has dropped and spending is up because of the coronavirus.

For example, in Oklahoma, total lottery sales were just over $7.7 million for the week ending April 25, up about 75% compared with the same time last year, driven almost entirely by scratch-offs. That included nearly $5.9 million in scratch-off sales, up from $2.5 million last year.

“The numbers are extraordinary,” said Jay Finks, marketing director for the Oklahoma Lottery. He attributed the surge to the introduction in December of a new $20 scratch-off ticket, the expansion in February of lottery sales into 7-Eleven stores, and a “demand for gaming because … people are looking for things to do. People can’t gamble on sports, can’t watch sports, can’t go to casinos, can’t go to movies.”

“I think you are seeing the discretionary income go to what’s available,” he said in a phone interview.

At the same time, the multistate Mega Millions and Powerball games are seeing significant drops in players and jackpots. People are not getting out of the house as much and when they do, they are reluctant to take the time to pick numbers and hand cash to attendants.

With fewer players, the jackpots diminish — a vicious cycle since lower jackpots usually mean less interest, and even fewer players. That has made total state lottery revenue decline in most states.But scratch-off tickets, with their more immediate gratification, have brought states good luck.

Lottery sales in Texas for the week ending May 2 totaled $146 million, one of the highest weekly sales totals since January 2016, when a Powerball jackpot of over $1.6 billion led to a nationwide frenzy that lifted all states’ sales. The May 2 total was driven by the highest-ever sales of scratch-off tickets, a 24% increase over last year. Draw game sales were down 3.5% from the same week last year.

Gary Grief, the state lottery’s executive director, said pent-up demand for entertainment and casino closures in surrounding states have contributed to the increase in scratch-off ticket sales in late April and early May.

Lottery critics say the uptick in April sales coincided with Americans’ receipt of federal stimulus payments of $1,200 and argue that states shouldn’t be cashing in on aid to people in need.

“People play state lotteries when they are financially desperate,” said Les Bernal, national director for Stop Predatory Gambling, an anti-lottery organization. “We have 30 million people who are unemployed.”

The U.S. Labor Department reported last week that more than 33 million Americans have filed for initial jobless claims since the coronavirus pandemic tore up the economy.Bernal’s organization sent a letter to governors of the 45 states with a lottery, calling on them to shut the games down during the pandemic.

“Federal tax dollars are being sent to American families in order to put food on the table, make rent or mortgage payments, or provide for other daily necessities — not to subsidize state lotteries,” the group said in the letter.

But no state has shut down its lottery. On the contrary, Grief in Texas said the lottery is striving to boost scratch-off sales even more.

“As these sales provide critically needed revenue for public schools and veterans’ services in Texas, the agency is doing all we can to ensure our retailers are provided with the necessary support and scratch ticket inventory to continue this trend,” he said in his email.

To be sure, lottery revenue makes up a small part of state budgets, most of the time less than 2%. In West Virginia, the state that derives the greatest percentage of its revenue from lotteries, the lottery brought in about 3% of state revenue.

But every dollar is proving significant as states face budget shortfalls caused by the pandemic. Each state dedicates lottery revenue differently, though many reserve the money for education or infrastructure.

Powerball and Mega Millions ticket sales have declined so much that the two games are reducing their jackpots for the first time in memory. The new jackpots will be determined by game sales and interest rates.

Powerball and Mega Millions tickets are $2 a play. Tickets for both games are sold in 45 states and the District of Columbia, and winning numbers are drawn twice a week.

“More states and cities have asked their residents to stay at home, which has affected normal consumer behaviors and Powerball game sales,” Gregg Mineo, Powerball Product Group chairman and Maine Lottery director, said in an April 2 statement. “In response to the public health crisis, interest rates have declined.”

But the fact that many people are buying scratch-off lottery tickets during an economic downturn is not surprising, academic experts say.

“When we feel a loss, we become much more willing to take a risk to regain what we had,” said Cornell University business professor David Just, who completed a study on lottery purchases earlier this year. Scratch-off tickets, he said, give the buyer “more immediacy. It’s much more of a reinforcer, and gives you a jolt right away and that leads you toward habit formation.”
 


Mega Millions tickets now on sale in Mississippi

If you’re hoping to cash in on millions or even just win a few bucks, you can buy a chance beginning Thursday.Get more news about 彩票包网,you can vist loto98.com
Powerball and Mega Millions lottery tickets are officially on sale at hundreds of retailers across the state. Scratch-off tickets have been available since November.
One lucky winner could cash in on $155 million in Friday’s Mega Millions drawing. Then, on Saturday, a whopping $40 million is up for grabs in the Powerball drawing.
Stores were already bustling by 6:30 a.m. Thursday with Mississippi residents eager for the chance to win big.Prizes under $600 may be claimed at any Mississippi Lottery retailer. Prizes less than $100,000 must be claimed at the Mississippi Lottery Headquarters office in Flowood or by mail. Prizes of $100,000 or more can only be claimed in person at the headquarters. Download a winner’s claim form HERE.
ABOUT POWERBALL
Powerball tickets are $2 per play. Tickets are sold in 45 states. Drawings are broadcast live every Wednesday and Saturday at 9:59 p.m. CT from the Florida Lottery draw studio in Tallahassee. The cutoff to buy tickets for the next drawing is at 8:54 p.m. CT on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Powerball jackpots start at $40 million and increase by a minimum of $10 million per draw until the jackpot is won. Players select five numbers from 1 to 69; and one Powerball number from 1 to 26. Players can multiply non-jackpot prizes by 2, 3, 4, 5 or 10 times with the POWERPLAY? option for an additional $1 per play. NOTE: The Match 5 + POWERPLAY prize is always $2 million. The 10X multiplier is only in play when the advertised jackpot is $150 million or less.
Powerball jackpot winners may choose to receive their prize as an annuity, paid in 30 graduated payments over 29 years, or a lump sum payment. Both advertised prize options are prior to federal and jurisdictional taxes.
Mega Millions tickets are also $2. Drawings are held Tuesday and Friday at 10:00 p.m. CT at WSB-TV in Atlanta, Ga.
Jackpots start at $40 million. You choose six numbers and there are nine exciting ways to win in the game.
There are nine ways to win in Mega Millions, and prizes range from $2 all the way to the jackpot. Options include the Megaplier, which increases non-jackpot winnings by as much as five times for $1, and Just the Jackpot, which allows players to get two chances at the jackpot for just $3. Learn more about how other ways to play Mega Millions on their website.
If you are a Mega Millions jackpot winner, you will have the choice of a Cash Option or an Annual Payout. Annuity option: Provides for an initial annual payment followed by 29 annual payments. Each payment is 5 percent larger than the previous one. Cash option: A one-time, lump-sum payment that is equal to all the cash in the Mega Millions jackpot prize pool.


Auto insurance relief sought for businesses

Empty roads and vacant workplaces due to the coronavirus outbreak mean fewer cars on the road, fewer fender benders and fewer insurance claims.To get more auto finance news, you can visit shine news official website.

Attorney General Maura Healey's office wants auto insurers to return their windfall to businesses that have been especially hard hit.

In a letter to state Insurance Commissioner Gary Anderson, Healey's office calls on regulators to direct commercial auto insurers to reduce premiums for owners of taxi cabs, limousines, school bus companies, van pools and other businesses that operate fleets of vehicles "commensurate" with the drop in claims.

"Without a reduction, Massachusetts businesses will be overpaying for this insurance at a time when many are already in difficult economic circumstances as a result of the national emergency," wrote Glenn Kaplan, chief of the attorney general's Insurance and Financial Services Division.

Kaplan notes that some insurers have been providing rate relief but only on an "ad hoc" basis. He asked regulators to "level the playing field" by requiring all commercial insurers to reduce premiums.

"This reduction should remain in effect until the substantial reduction in exposure to loss ends," he wrote.

Healey said businesses have been hit especially hard during the pandemic, and state regulators should be taking steps to ease their financial burden.

"These businesses deserve to pay fair rates and not be overcharged during this difficult time," she said in a statement.

Stay-at-home orders mean many taxis, limousines companies and other commercial fleet operators are driving less, resulting in fewer crashes and claims.

Some estimates suggest traffic around the state — even in Greater Boston — has been reduced by more than 50% since the outbreak began.

Many private auto insurers have been touting rebates and discounts for individual policyholders, ranging from 10% to 30%, to reflect the decline in claims.

Several other states, including New Jersey and California, have directed commercial insurers to reduce their rates to reflect lower risks amid the pandemic.

Kaplan said there are other steps auto insurers can take to lessen the impact on businesses, such as allowing companies to purchase lower-cost coverage when the terms of current policies expire.

"It is important that we do all we can to assist policyholders during the pandemic and ensure that the cost of their insurance reflects the true risk of loss," he wrote.

Christian M. Wade covers the Massachusetts Statehouse for North of Boston Media Group’s newspapers and websites.


BAIDU SEES ROBUST QUARTER AS CHINA'S ECONOMY REOPENS

Chinese search engine giant Baidu Inc forecast second-quarter revenue above expectations on Monday, as businesses reopen in the world's second-largest economy after strict lockdowns to curb the spread of the coronavirus.To get more China economy news, you can visit shine news official website.

Baidu's U.S.-listed shares jumped 8% in extended trading after the company also reported a smaller-than-expected drop in first-quarter revenue and easily beat profit estimates.

China's stalled economy is starting up much earlier than Europe and the United States, which are easing restrictions gradually as they struggle with high reported infections and deaths from COVID-19, a disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Baidu forecast current-quarter revenue between 25.0 billion yuan and 27.3 billion yuan, while analysts on average had expected 25.55 billion yuan.

The company said daily active users for Baidu App surged 28% in March to hit the 222 million mark.

"This performance is encouraging, as it shows that the worst stretch is likely over for Chinese internet companies as the economy slowly gets back to its feet and the digital ad market revives," said Haris Anwar, senior analyst at financial markets platform Investing.com.

Revenue from Baidu's online marketing services business, which includes search, news feeds and video apps and is a major contributor to overall sales, tumbled 19% to 14.24 billion yuan in the first quarter ended March 31.

Total revenue declined about 7% to 22.55 billion yuan (2.6 billion pounds), but beat estimate of 21.93 billion yuan.

Baidu in February estimated revenue between 21 billion yuan and 22.9 billion yuan.

Subscribers for the company's iQIYI — a Netflix-like video service — climbed 23% to 118.9 million, benefiting from stay-at-home orders. Revenue rose 9% but net loss attributable to the company widened to 2.87 billion yuan from 1.81 billion yuan.

On an adjusted basis, Baidu earned 8.84 yuan per American depository share, above expectation of 3.99 yuan per ADS, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

($1 = 7.1086 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Akanksha Rana in Bengaluru and Yingzhi Yang in Beijing; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri and Sriraj Kalluvila)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.


The "Perfect" ATRI Turned Out to be an Illegal Broker

Brokers on the forex market always strive to present their clients a perfect image, but sometimes such a flawless image may turn out to be a lie. Recently, Mr. Liu told WikiFX about how ATRI, a deceptive illegal broker, had rejected his withdrawal and suspended his trading account for no reason.To get more news about ATRI, you can visit WikiFX news official website.
This August, Mr. Liu was introduced to ATRI by an IB and started investment on the platform. Though still young and not very experienced, Mr. Liu still made considerable profits within a month through his keen sense about the market trend. Yet when he applied to withdraw part of the fund, the illegal broker‘s risk control department suspended his account for alleged violation of platform’s restrictions, apparently not willing to let Mr. Liu claim his investment profits.
  Not only couldn‘t Mr. Liu take his profits, he wasn’t even able to withdraw the initial deposit. After that, he contacted the broker‘s IB agent for several times, but the latter offered no concrete solution besides prevarications and soon stopped answering his questions altogether. Up till now, Mr. Liu’s account remains unavailable and he still cant withdraw his money.
After receiving Mr. Liu‘s report, WikiFX checked ARTI’s official website and its regulatory information and found the following 2 aspects that appeared suspicious.
  Firstly, the brokers official website has both English and Chinese versions, but we noticed that the Chinese version claims the broker has NFA regulation, while the same information was missing from the English version.When looking at ATRI‘s website, we noticed that it has made great efforts to impress investors as a compliant and strong broker. The broker claims to be a settlement member of prestigious global exchanges such as CME(Chicago Mercantile Exchange) and NYMEX(New York Mercantile Exchange), while boasting other highlights such as MT4 trading software and fixed spread. Fooled by the sense of superiority created by such false claims, inexperienced investors like Mr. Liu often end up suffering heavy losses from the illegal broker’s trap. But the false regulatory information reveals more about ATRIs real status than any of its deceptive self-proclaimed advantages.
  Therefore, investors need to verify and cross-check a broker‘s profile through multiple sources to ensure it’s truly compliant and credible. Do not rely solely on information from brokers official site or advertisements.
  Conclusion
  According to WikiFX App, ATRI which is currently unregulated has been in business for less than a year and uses white-label MT4/5 trading software. The broker is rated at only 1.68 on WikiFX App, bearing significant risks, and WikiFX reminds investors to stay away from it.


Forex Market Saw the Lowest Volatility in 23 Years

Although major events in 2019 such as international trade tensions and Brexit have hit the global forex market, causing fluctuation in some currency pairs, the general volatility of G10 currencies year to date has been significantly lower than previous years. Unless December sees some serious“black swan events”, the forex market may experience its lowest volatility since 1996 in this year.To get more news about WikiFX, you can visit WikiFX news official website.
  Volatility of the forex market with a US$5.1 trillion daily turnover has been subdued, while multiple factors will make it difficult for the USD index to maintain its strong momentum in 2020. USDX will probably fluctuate between 95-98 throughout 2020, and will be more likely to weaken due to uncertainties in international trade outlook, global economic slowdown and remaining possibility of US Federal Reserve rate cut.


Another Investor Fell Victim to the Illegal Broker Davinci

Have you or your friends ever experienced any of the above-mentioned circumstances? Maybe you remained silent and decided to give up any further attempt to recover your funds, or perhaps you took the broker‘s words and believed that it was simply a temporary breakdown of the third-party channel that blocked your withdrawal? Perhaps you hadn’t lost the faint hope that you may eventually receive your money after waiting for a few days or a few months, or have you heard the broker had escaped and thought you could do nothing about the situation?To get more news about Davinci, you can visit WikiFX news official website.

Mr. Xiao’s real-name complaint against Davinci
  In the recent few days, WikiFX has received over 30 complaints against the forex broker Davinci from investors. Mr. Xiao is among the victims of the scam, and he told WikiFX that he didn‘t receive the fund withdrawn from Davinci after waiting for a long time. At first he thought it was because he didn’t follow the right procedures, so he filled out the withdrawal application form as the customer service told him, but he still couldn‘t receive the money, while the broker’s customer service eventually stopped replying to his inquiries of the matter. According to WikiFX App, the forex broker Davinci is rated at only 1.89. Information shows the broker is registered in Hong Kong and with its current NFA(US) license No.0514866, it operates in overrun business. WikiFX has labeled it as a heavily complained broker to warn investors against it.
As a leading forex media, WikiFX sticks to the truth and bravely stands up for investors rights in face of the numerous forex brokers of mixed qualities. We have recorded detailed information of over 14,000 brokers in 30 countries, including past scandals of illegal brokers. Our investor-right-protection team is experienced in handling withdrawal failure, unjustified losses and IB scams, and we will do our best to restore your defrauded assets. You may download WikiFX App and register to become a WikiFX VIP member, and get professional assistance in recovering the lost funds.

 
 
 

US Federal Reserve Will Release October’s Meeting Minutes

US Federal Reserve will soon release the minutes for October‘s monetary policy meeting, which had directly led to the Fed’s third rate cut in the year- an action much in line with the market‘s general expectations. On the other hand, the Fed has removed “taking appropriate action to maintain economic expansion” from the interest rate statement. The expression has been in the interest rate statement since June, paving the way for the Fed’s rate cuts. Given that the US economy has rallied more than the market had expected, this change of wording suggests that the threshold for a further rate cut is very high.To get more news about WikiFX, you can visit WikiFX news official website.
On November 13th (EST), the US Federal Reserve Chair Powell once again emphasized his optimism about the US economy. He said, “sustained expansion of economic activity, a strong labor market, and inflation near our symmetric 2% objective as most likely.” At the same time, Powell also admitted that uncertainties in the trade sector continue to plague US corporate confidence and business investment, while foreign economic slowdown can also hinder US growth. Policymakers will closely observe all types of economic data to see whether they remain in line with market expectation.
  In addition, the Fed is not worried about inflation. Although Powell still believes that the inflation rate is close to the 2% target set by the Fed, it is clear that the historical model of the relationship between price and the weak job market no longer prevail. The Fed used to consider a 5% unemployment rate was almost full employment, but now economists must admit that the US economy can operate at a much lower unemployment rate.
  Besides the Federal decision of interest rate cut announced at the end of October, several key indicators are being released in the US recently: The core CPI rose 0.2%, in line with expectations; PPI rose 0.4%, higher than the expected 0.3%... a series of breakthroughs in important economic data indicate the US economy is rallying, and Fed officials are generally optimistic about the countrys economic situation. Survey data showed that the market estimates a 96% probability for the Fed to hold interest rate unchanged, the remaining 4% implied odds are for 25 basis points.
  With the release of the Fed‘s meeting minutes at the corner, what’s your view about the monetary policy in the future? Stay tuned as WikiFX presents you more forex dynamics and market trend analysis that add to your investment success.


Can You Buy Lottery Tickets Online?

Step right up, lottery lovers. The game’s exciting nature seems to get more accessible and thrilling every year! We’re addicted to it. And who can blame us? Each time you buy a ticket, you’re filled with the hope of what if… Somebody must win. They always do. And why not you?Get more news about 菲律宾彩票包网平台,you can vist loto98.com

But you may be wondering about online lottery tickets in the USA. There’s so much on the web these days. What’s legit, and what’s not?

Can I buy lottery tickets online? And is it legal to buy US lottery tickets online? If you’re curious about either of these topics, stick around. It can get confusing with different state regulations, but we hope to make it a bit simpler for you today.
So, can you play the lottery online? Most states still do require that you purchase your lotto tickets in person at an authorized retailer. But there are a few states moving into the online realms of sales. And interest is still growing. So, you may see more opportunities to play online in the near future!

Can Lottery Tickets Be Purchased Online Safely?
Can I play the lottery online safely? The United States government goes to great lengths to ensure online tickets and information are protected. Billions of dollars are spent on lottery tickets every year in this country. It’s important that all tickets are valid.

Online sales, as well as retailer sales, are heavily regulated. The potential for fraudulent tickets is extraordinary, so precautions are taken.

Because hackers and scam artists could take advantage of the online system, many states prohibit the sales of online lottery tickets. And even if it’s not illegal, there are many restrictions in place.

Is It Legal to Buy Lottery Tickets Online Through a Proxy?
With some states like California and Texas, you can turn to an online service. Essentially, you’re paying someone else to get your ticket. But risks are included in the deal.

You’ll find that some states don’t accept winning tickets when they’re purchased in this manner. Always double-check online rules. When in doubt, buy your own lottery tickets at a retail counter.

Is it Legal to Sell Lottery Tickets Online?
Only authorized retailers may do so. And they must do so within a state that approves of online lotto sales. Otherwise, it’s a federal crime to sell or resell lottery tickets online.


Atlantic Lottery Corporation online sales skyrocket five-fold amid pandemic

Even an order from Chief Medical Officer Dr. Janice Fitzgerald can’t stop people’s thirst for lottery tickets.Get more news about 彩票包网平台,you can vist loto98.com

The province prohibited the sale of scratch and break open tickets in stores as of March 30 in an effort to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus, but since the pandemic began, online lottery sales at alc.ca have increased by roughly five times, according to Atlantic Lottery Corporation CEO Chris Keevill.

Keevill said despite that “quite striking” jump online, overall sales have still decreased 10 per cent.

“The Atlantic Lottery business has seen a drop, but not nearly as far as many of the other lotteries across Canada. So, we’ve seen a dip, but not as deep a dip. And one of the reasons, probably the primary reason for that, is Atlantic Lottery has quite a robust digital platform,” said Keevill.

“It’s a more developed e-commerce platform for buying your 6/49 or Lotto Max ticket, check your winning numbers, or play a number of digital instant games that are available for play on alc.ca. So, because of that, we’ve seen a big jump in the sign-up for customers on alc.ca, and we’ve seen a big lift in our online sales. So, that has made up for a lot of the dip in the traditional retail space.”At alc.ca, people can create an account and buy tickets through a subscription. All of the major draw games are available on the website, as well as digital instant games which are comparable to scratch tickets except in digital form.

Keevill said the digital transformation of the gaming business for Atlantic Lottery has been in the works for roughly five years, but the pandemic has accelerated it “with everyone at home, and having the opportunity to sign up online,” he explained.

“Atlantic Lottery’s a bit fortunate because before my time, the people that came before me had the foresight to build quite a robust e-commerce platform in the business, and we lead the country in that regard, in fact.

“And so that’s what’s allowed us to keep more of our business during the pandemic when compared to the lotteries in other parts of the country who have seen much greater declines because they weren’t able to make it up on the digital side.”
He said the growth in online sales during the pandemic has given Atlantic Lottery encouragement and confidence to invest more assertively in its digital games.

The 10 per cent slump, however, means less money coming back to the provincial coffers.

Atlantic Lottery brings in hefty amounts for the Atlantic provincial government shareholders. For example, according to alc.ca, in 2018-2019 Atlantic Lottery returned $422.2 million to provincial governments.

The breakdown by province was $138.6 million for Nova Scotia, $130 million for New Brunswick, $135.4 million for Newfoundland and Labrador, and $18.3 million for Prince Edward Island.

“There’s no doubt there’s going to be, in the short term, less to offer back to the province,” said Keevill.

“But we are encouraged that the players are migrating to this new (online) platform, and we certainly have every intention to get back on track to provide the funds that are important to the province.”

Newfoundland and Labrador had the only government-mandated suspension of lottery sales in Atlantic Canada, but some retailers made the decision to discontinue lottery sales anyway, such as Sobeys and Loblaw. However, within the last week, many such retailers have reopened their lottery sales.