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ATLANTA -- A big gamble by lottery officials appears to be paying off as profits rise in Georgia from a pricier Powerball game.

The price for a ticket doubled in January from $1 to $2 a ticket.

At the time, some players suggested they would stop playing or switch to cheaper games.

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But figures compiled at the request of 11Alive News show game sales in Georgia through last week jumped 56 percent compared to the same period last year.

For the same period, game profits went up 55 percent to $29.4 million.

The numbers suggest fewer tickets were sold, but the lure of better odds and higher starting jackpots has brought in more money for Georgia's HOPE scholarship and pre-K program.

"As the jackpot grows, we have found more players get engaged," Georgia Lottery CEO Margaret DeFancisco said of the pricehikein January."For Georgia and HOPE and pre-K, this will be a very good thing."

Wednesday's Powerball jackpot is $212 million.

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