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Monopoly Millionaires' Club lottery game to be suspended next week after slow sales, officials say

The Monopoly Millionaires' Club lottery game will be suspended next week due to lower than expected sales, New York State lottery officials said.

The game, which started Oct. 19, in 23 states, will hold its last weekly drawing on Dec. 26 as state lottery officials around the country rethink the game's multitiered format.

"Like all good businesses, lotteries have to try new ideas," said Gardner Gurney, acting director of the lottery division at the New York State Gaming Commission. "We incorporated concepts into this game that have been popular elsewhere, but they just didn't do as well here. We will continue to discuss the possible future of this game and certainly believe in the concept of spreading the winnings around to players."

Each $5 ticket allows a player to pick five out of 52 numbers while other randomly generated codes could lead to other prizes, including a "second chance" drawing to compete in a Monopoly television show in Las Vegas and win up to $1 million in prizes. The first show was to be aired in February.

Earlier this month, six Long Islanders won a five-day, four-night trip to Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas to compete against other state participants for a chance to win up to $1 million in prizes on the television game show, hosted by comedian Billy Gardell.

The lottery game's multitiered format was aimed at lottery players who had often said they wanted to have a share of the winnings rather than play for just one gigantic prize, Gurney said.

"That was the inspiration for the current game, but players didn't respond to it as well as we'd hoped," Gurney said.

Tickets in the game will be sold until the sales cutoff for the final weekly drawing at 11:15 p.m. on Dec. 26.

Lottery officials have been trying to offer different types of games and chances to win at various prices to attract more business.

The New York Lottery bills itself as North America's largest and most profitable lottery, contributing $3.17 billion in the state's fiscal year 2013-14. Some funds go toward education; the lottery's contribution represents 15 percent of total state education aid to local school districts, officials said.

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