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The National Lottery's headquarters in Mexico City. The National Lottery's headquarters in Mexico City.

National Lottery director aims to eliminate 540-million-peso deficit

Austerity, improved efficiency and marketing to younger generations among new measures

The National Lottery plans to eliminate its 540-million-peso (US $28-million) deficit with austerity, efficiency and honesty, according to the institution’s general director, Ernesto Prieto Ortega.

Almost a year into his term, Prieto dreams of the lottery returning to its glory days and being able to make donations that benefit all Mexican citizens.

“The lottery has greatly supported the Mexican state,” Prieto said in an interview with the newspaper El Universal. “In the age of Benito Juárez, for example, they did three drawings for the construction of the Mexico-Toluca railway, which was made possible by lottery and government resources.”

With its 250th anniversary coming up on August 7, 2020, the National Lottery is one of Mexico’s oldest institutions, and the pending birthday has encouraged lottery and government leaders to revive the struggling organization.

“The president gave us two instructions: the fusion of the National Lottery with the Public Assistance Forecasts office in order to improve economic conditions and have funds for public assistance, and that we take care of lottery ticket vendors, not leave them unprotected.”

In order to achieve liquidity, Prieto enacted austerity measures, such as reducing the salaries of high-ranking employees and cutting unnecessary office costs, like floral arrangements, meals and rental cars.

Prieto’s strategy also includes creating new lottery products, such as selling tickets online, and renewing interest in the lottery among young people.

“Another strategy to bring in more money is to reach people aged 18-40 because they aren’t buying lottery tickets, and many don’t even know about it. So we’re sponsoring the apprenticeship program ‘Youth Building the Future’ to get more young people to buy lottery tickets.”

Said Prieto, “What we hope to be able to do is generate resources in order to be able to make donations again.”

Of the lottery’s eight products, only one made a profit last year, and that was just 2.1%, or 12.8 million pesos, according to the Federal Auditor’s Office.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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