Dec 15

Alabama Could Get Vote on State Lottery

The voters of Alabama will have their say over whether the state should launch its own lottery if a bill introduced by House Representative Alan Harper is passed. Harper will put forward the proposal when the legislative session convenes for 2016 and he has the support of politicians including Mac McCutcheon, who represents District 25. McCutcheon told WAFF “I would be in favor of a lottery if the people of Alabama had the right to vote on it.”

If the bill were to be passed, the vote could take place in November of next year, once details had been worked out as to how it would be run and where the revenue would be distributed. Neighboring state Tennessee, where a significant number of Alabamians travel to play popular draw and instant games, donates a portion of its lottery revenue to grants and scholarships for students in the state’s educational establishments. Some politicians in the state would rather the proceeds were transferred to the general fund.

Alabama is one of only six states in the US not to offer a lottery to its citizens, the others being Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada and Utah. A proposal by Senator Paul Sanford that would have seen Alabama join Mega Millions and Powerball was halted in September when the Tourism and Marketing Committee delayed a vote on the measure having debated the bill. Sanford had suggested creating a lottery as an alternative to tax rises in the state.

The public voted against the idea of an Alabama state lottery in a 1999 referendum, but Harper insists that attitudes may have changed and is keen to canvas the opinion of the electorate in 2016, stating, “People have constantly asked us, ‘When are you going to let us vote on a lottery?’ I think it’s time the people had their say.”

by Mike Redfern
Updated December 31st, 2015

Aug 15

Minnesota’s Online Lottery Ticket Sales to End

The Minnesota Lottery will stop selling online tickets and instant win games in a series of steps starting today. In 2014, the state became the first to offer scratch-offs on the internet, but lawmakers claimed the organization had installed the service without explicit legislative consent and passed a law to stop sales.

Bosses at the lottery fear legal action from vendors Scientific Games and Linq3 over the early termination of the online sales, with the companies claiming to be missing out on a combined $13.5 million as a result.

Minnesota Lottery director Ed van Patten also warned that, without the ability to sell draw tickets and scratchers over the internet, at ATMs and at gas pumps, fewer young players, who are used to making a majority of purchases online, would be reached. He claimed this could lead to a slowdown in sales and a cut in the money raised for the educational, healthcare and environmental programs which benefit from 24c of every dollar spent on lottery games in the state.

Van Patten’s campaigning looked to have succeeded when Gov. Mark Dayton originally vetoed the ban, only for him to relent when the spring session saw a surge of votes in favour of stopping online lottery sales. Lawmakers from both sides of the political spectrum argued that selling lottery tickets via online channels had made gambling too convenient.

This weekend’s Mega Millions, Powerball and Gopher 5 drawings will be the last for online players, with internet scratch-offs being cut at noon Monday.

The Minnesota Lottery has raised $2.4 billion for the state’s General Fund and projects to preserve its natural resources since it launched in 1990.

by Mike Redfern
Updated August 28th, 2015

Feb 15

Naperville Man Wins Biggest Prize in Illinois Lottery History

A 70-year-old Naperville resident has come forward as the winner of a $270 million Mega Millions prize – the largest in the history of the Illinois Lottery. Jesus Davila Jr., a retired driver, purchased $5 of Quick Pick tickets from a convenience store in nearby Glendale Heights for the drawing on Friday, January 16th. As he watched the drawing at home, he wrote down the winning numbers and compared them to his own ticket.

While he thought that he had matched five main numbers to win $1 million, his son quickly saw that Davila had matched all six main numbers (26, 32, 44, 45 and 58 with Mega Ball 11) to win the jackpot. While he was waiting to step forward and identify himself, he and his family celebrated by leaving the Chicago area for a little while.

Davila’s past also came to light in Tuesday’s press conference – he spent 12 years in jail for the manufacture and delivery of cocaine. His spokesman said that he was aware of the charges, but that his client had “paid his debt to society” and was a good person. Davila himself simply said that he was a “regular Joe”.

He plans to donate some of his massive windfall to charities, share it with his family and buy a house and a riding lawnmower. Davila took the lump sum option, meaning that he will receive almost $127 million after taxes.
Davila’s prize broke a record held since April 2012, when Merle and Patricia Butler of Red Bud, Illinois claimed a Mega Millions prize worth $218.6 million. They took a share of the record-breaking $656 million offered up in the draw held on Friday March 30th of that year. Visit the Mega Millions Information page at Lottery.net to learn more about the game.

by Mike Redfern
Updated February 27th, 2015

Feb 15

First Ever Online Millionaire for Michigan Lottery

Mere months after it began selling lottery games online, the Michigan Lottery has created its first millionaire. An as-yet unnamed player claimed the top prize on the $20 Diamond Payout  scratcher, in which participants must match one of 25 numbers to any of the five in the winning line in order to win the prize indicated.

The state lottery first tested online games on its site in August 2014 before soft-launching them the following November. Despite the lack of promotion, Michigan Lottery officials claim that more than 100,000 players are now registered, with online sales currently totalling roughly $2 million a week. In addition, projections suggest that they will total more than $480 million after eight years.

Other online instants available to Michigan players include Keno, Cash Word and Pure Gold, all of which can be enjoyed on desktop computers, smartphones and tablets.

For every dollar played on Michigan Lottery games, 30 cents is contributed to the state’s school system, with more than $17 billion donated by the lottery since 1972. Two bills have been introduced recently which question whether the lottery might not be run more effectively in the private sector, prompting worries over the jobs of 170 people currently employed by the state to administer the games.

Those who buy their tickets in the Great Lake State can take part in the huge multi state Powerball and Mega Millions draws as well as homegrown lotteries like Fantasy 5 and Lotto 47 and a range of pull tab and scratcher games. Find out the latest Michigan Lottery results by checking out the dedicated page on Lottery.net.

by Mike Redfern
Updated March 30th, 2016

Jan 15

Wyoming Introduces its First In-State Game

America’s youngest state lottery, WyoLotto in Wyoming, has unveiled plans for its first in-state game, Cowboy Draw, which will launch in March 2015. The lottery has sold tickets for the huge multi-state draw games, Powerball and Mega Millions, since its inception in August 2014 but Cowboy Draw will mean “more Wyoming players winning top jackpot prizes and more Lottery money staying in the Cowboy State” according to WyoLotto CEO Jon Clontz.

Ticket holders will be able to play for a jackpot which will start at $250,000 when the game premieres on March 15 by correctly matching 5 numbers drawn from 45. Matching two numbers will bank players $5, with $20 awarded for matching three balls and a prize of $1,000 for anyone who matches four numbers. Cowboy Draw tickets will cost $5 and entitle players to two entries into the draw, with an approximate payout of 68 percent, compared to 50 percent for Mega Millions and Powerball.

When asked whether the jackpot could hit $1 million, Clontz responded “absolutely”, suggesting that a realistic average top tier prize for the game would be around $750,000.

Research was conducted in August 2014 into the kinds of game which players would like to see played in the Cowboy State, with the result being the introduction of Cowboy Draw. Clontz also suggested there may be another couple of games on the horizon for WyoLotto, including a version of All-Or-Nothing which has proven popular in other states.

by Mike Redfern
Updated January 23rd, 2015