The state of Michigan continues to try to further expand its wildly successful state lottery program, offering ever more opportunities for players to hit a massive payout.
Big jackpots have always had the spotlight when discussing the lottery, but Michigan is trying its best to create even more chances for these wins in order to maintain the consistent growth in lottery sales. For the last three years the lottery has broken the record for its contribution to state schools, which currently stands at $924 million. Should this trend continue — a trend helped along by the proliferation of the iLottery — there is a reasonable possibility of breaking the $1 billion mark this year.
The state is also steadfast in its efforts to make certain players receive their winnings, as those with online lottery accounts now have the benefit of automated systems to track their play. But for the majority of players who still purchase their tickets at retail locations the Michigan Lottery Public Relations Division can only reach out to the public if a big win goes unclaimed. From 2015 – 2017, $87.6 million in prizes were unclaimed, across instant games, draw games, and Club games.
Such is the case regarding a $1 million Powerball ticket that was purchased in Ionia last September. The lottery has reaffirmed the ticket holder must reach out to it before the 12 month deadline on September 25th when the prize will cease to be.
While the state would benefit even more if the Ionia win goes unclaimed (the full $1 million would go straight into the school fund) it is in the lottery’s best interest to try its hardest to get the prize to its rightful winner, as there is no better promotion for lottery sales than when other players see someone win big.
Instant games are also poised to crack a $1 billion barrier this year, only in payouts. In 2017, players won $960 million from such games, and several multi-million dollar prizes are currently at large in active games. That figure represents a massive uptick over the performance of instant wins in 2016, when the format only accounted for $816.9 million in payouts.
Just last week a 19-year-old man won the maximum $500,000 prize from a Platinum 7’s scratch ticket. This was reportedly only the youth’s fourth time playing the lottery, with the other three scratch-offs also yielding smaller windfalls, all of which are planned to help cover his college tuition. Two additional Platinum 7’s tickets with the top prize still remain.
A woman in Ottawa County also recently won the maximum prize of $250,000 from Michigan’s Keno, matching 10 of the 22 numbers on the difficult game. This follows last week’s win of $100,000 by a woman from Jackson County, who took the maximum prize on a Bonus Cashword scratcher. Five more $100,000 tickets still remain.
Coincidentally all three of these winning tickets were purchased at gas stations.
Michigan is still focusing on promoting on the high-profile Super Raffle that is running until September 29th. There are still over 200,000 of the $50 tickets to the Raffle remaining: one ticket will be worth a $4 million prize, with two others at $2 million. More than $10 million in total prizes are planned for the drawing next month.
Two other $4 million dollar prizes are still at large in the $150,000,000 PAYOUT game. The $30 scratch-off has paid out the maximum prize only once so far this spring.
After some recent wins the Fantasy 5 drawing for tonight, August 29th, is barely above the baseline for that game: $105,000. Tonight’s Lotto 47 is up to a more formidable $5.5 million.
Also, the Powerball drawing tonight is offering a jackpot of $80 million. But even more attention will be on the Mega Millions drawing on Friday, August 31st, where the top prize has climbed to over $150 million.