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Locals discover interest in Keno

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By Kenny Colston

The Kentucky Lottery’s latest game is adding extra incentive to stay in Oldham County when dining out.

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The lottery introduced a new Keno game months ago, hoping to boost revenues for the lottery, which supports education funding.

So far, three Oldham County restaurants have installed Keno: Steve-O’s Italian Restaurant, Beef O’Brady’s and XRailsX.

Steve Tingle, owner of Steve-O’s said he signed up for the game after being approached by lottery officials.

“I thought it would be a neat thing for people to come and kill some time while waiting for their food,” Tingle said. “And hopefully it would bring in more customers.”

To play Keno, a patron must first decide how many numbers to play, from 1 to 10. Then, a player decides to wage anywhere from $1 to $20. The third element is to select how many consecutive Keno draws to play, from 1 to 20 in a row, before selecting numbers.

Patrons make their selections on a slip of paper, which is then turned in and an electronic slip printed out, much like playing the Powerball or other lottery games.

Players can watch the balls being selected on a TV screen and check potential winning on their original playing card or under an electronic scanner. Anywhere from $1 to $240 can be played on a single card and up to $100,000 can be won.

Tingle said so far he’s seen a few customers become regulars playing Keno at his restaurant, but hasn’t seen “a rush.”

“The customers who play it seem to enjoy it,” Tingle said. “It seems to be catching on.”

Bo Mitchell, the store manager at Beef O’Brady’s in La Grange, said Keno has been a success at his restaurant.

“I like to think we have a fun atmosphere and it falls right in line with that,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell said the game has been wildly successful for his store and helps encourage potential customers to choose Oldham County when it comes to dining options.

“It’s another reason to keep people here in the county,” he said.

Keno retailers, like Tingle, pay a weekly fee for maintenance on the lottery equipment. They also paid a license fee to install the game.

Tingle hopes success with Keno could lead to the ability to sell other lottery games and scratch-offs in the future, when the lottery installs Keno-to-go, which will play more like the Powerball, he said.

Until then, Tingle said he hopes more customers give the Keno game a chance and that one of his customers walks away a big winner.

“I’m hoping to get one of those $100,000 tickets soon,” Tingle said.

Email us about this story at editor@oldhamera.com.