Who Has the Golden Ticket? Lottery Producing Huge Payouts and Big Tales in PA and Beyond

Lottery excitement continues with a billion-dollar jackpot yet to be claimed, a $60 million jackpot from a dream, and dozens of big winners in Pennsylvania.

The story will eventually come out.

With lottery winners, it always does.

In Michigan, someone in the town of Novi bought a Mega Millions ticket that just won a $1.05 billion-dollar prize. It was the biggest Mega Millions jackpot ever and according to an article at Hometown Life, the rumor mill has focused on some area teachers.

Perhaps they have indeed grabbed the lottery’s golden ticket. But as of now, no one knows.

“It’s a random game of chance, you never know when it will hit or when they will come forward,” Jake Harris, a communications specialist with the Michigan Lottery, told Hometown Life. “It’s kind of like that scene in Willy Wonka, when they are digging for the chocolate bar and then yell, ‘I’ve got it!’”

That person – whoever it is – hasn’t appeared in Michigan yet. The official story has yet to arrive.

In Canada, it has.

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Lottery dream becomes reality twenty years later

A woman in Ontario, Canada had been playing the same lotto numbers for 20 years that her husband had once dreamed about. In December, that persistence finally paid off.

According to CNN.com, Deng Pravatoudom‘s unflinching belief in those numbers brought home a lottery win worth $60 million.

And here in Pennsylvania, the lottery is turning people into millionaires all across the state.

On Tuesday, the Pennsylvania Lottery announced that a player in Bradford County just won $1 million on a Millionaire’s Club Scratch-Off

Just one week earlier, someone at a Wawa in Chester County also won a $1-million prize on the Jackpot Party Scratch-Off.

Near misses in Mega Millions result in a pair of million-dollar prizes in PA

Two Pennsylvania players also took home a million dollars each in the Mega Millions drawing that made a billionaire in Michigan. Those players matched all the numbers from the Mega Millions except for the Mega Ball.

According to WGAL, one of those million-dollar tickets was sold at a Sunoco in Chambersburg. The other was sold at Gingrich’s Food Market near Lancaster (according to FOX43).

A player from New Jersey also matched those same five numbers, bringing home a million there as well.

The Mega Millions drawing came just two days after a Powerball ticket was sold at an old mining-town in Maryland that matched all six numbers. That jackpot totaled $731.1 million.

And on a slightly smaller scale, a player in Norristown won nearly $300,000 in the “I Like Big Bucks” drawing on January 21st. 

Pennsylvania’s daily lotteries continue to pay dividends as well. Winners from the state’s draw games are updated regularly on the PA lottery website.

Second Chance drawings give losing  tickets another life

Even the non-winners have another shot. The Pennsylvania Lottery’s End of the Rainbow Second Chance drawing has begun, giving losing tickets a chance to redeem themselves.

As noted by The Progress News, non-winning Find the Leprechaun, O’Lucky Coin and Clover All Over Scratch-Off tickets may be entered between now and March 25, 2021 for chances to win numerous prizes worth $17,000, $7,000, or $700. There’s also a chance to win $100 to play PA online lottery games.

Starting Tuesday, Feb. 2 through March 25, non-winning 17, Good Luck Charm$ and Four Leaf Loot Fast Play tickets may be entered for chances to win similar prizes as well.

Players can enter the tickets through the VIP Players Club at palottery.com or scan-to-enter using the official lottery app. Winners will be announced at palottery.com. You can find entry instructions, prize details, rules, restrictions, and drawing information there too.

So even the losing tickets have one last hope.

Maybe they will redeem themselves. Maybe they’ll finish as a winner in the end.

And if they do, the story will eventually come out.

Lead image via Dreamstime.

Swing and a Miss: Court Rules Winning $4.15 Million PA Lotto Ticket Belongs to Doylestown Store, Not Employee

A Doylestown store employee attempted to pass off a $4.15 million Match 6 PA lottery ticket as her own, but a state court ruled against her.

Well, she tried.

And maybe you can’t blame her.

But a state Superior Court ruled Tuesday that Beverlie Seltzer, an employee at an Acme store in Doylestown, cannot keep a winning $4.15 million lottery ticket because it rightfully belongs to her store, not her.

As explained in a PennLive article, the winning Match 6 ticket was what’s considered a mistake ticket printed by the store. The store must pay the lottery commission for its mistake tickets. But the store can also keep any winnings that they produce.

Winning ticket was a mistake print in March 2019

In Seltzer’s case, she discovered the winning $4.15 million ticket in the mistake pile when she reported to work on March 21, 2019. Seltzer took $10 from her purse to purchase the winning ticket instead of following the typical procedure, which would have allowed the store to claim the winnings. The store’s security footage confirmed Seltzer’s maneuver.

Seltzer eventually tried to claim the winning ticket. She later appealed to the Superior Court after a Bucks County ruling found that the winnings belonged to the store.

On Tuesday, the Superior Court reached the same verdict.

“When Ms. Seltzer in this instance deviated from the Acme procedures that she usually followed, she acted surreptitiously and was not forthcoming about the circumstances of the purchase,” Judge Mary Jane Bowes wrote in the state court’s opinion. “Even viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to Ms. Seltzer, no reasonable fact-finder could conclude that Ms. Seltzer acted with the good faith belief that she was permitted by law or by Acme’s policies to give Acme $10 in exchange for $4,150,000.”

Powerball, Mega Millions produces verified November winners

Fortunately, not every winning ticket devolves into chaos and controversy like Seltzer’s did. In November, a player named Mark from Allegheny County took home a million dollars in a Powerball drawing. Additionally, five other players from locations all across Pennsylvania won $50,000 prizes.

In Mega Millions drawings, three Pennsylvania players won $10,000 prizes in November.

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Holiday jackpots will bring Christmas cheer and lots of cash

And as noted by PlayPennsylvaniathe Mega Millions and Powerball drawings from this past weekend were set to provide a massive Christmas bonus if someone happened to purchase a winning ticket.

The Powerball jackpot on Saturday was up to $304 million, with a cash value of $236 million. Friday’s Mega Millions drawing was estimated at $310 million, with a cash value of $238 million.

In a handful of states, including Pennsylvania, draw lottery tickets are available for purchase online. There, notifications of winning tickets are automatic.

And the beauty of the multistate, massive jackpot lotteries is that someone will eventually win.

That’s what drives people to purchase tickets. And that’s what drove Beverlie Seltzer to step outside of bounds at her Acme store.

The reward often seems worth the risk.

Lead image via Dreamstime.

PA Online Lottery Sets Example For Other States, Mega Millions Climbs To Over $400 Million

Pennsylvania boasts the most successful iLottery launch in the US, hitting $1 billion in online and mobile sales on the eve of its second anniversary.

Congratulations are in order to Pennsylvania iLottery for the most successful iLottery launch for online and mobile sales in the United States! In fact, PA iLottery sales hit $1 billion just shy of the second anniversary of its launch date in the Keystone State.

To recap, the state of Pennsylvania passed a gambling expansion bill in 2017. As a result, PA iLottery launched in May 2018.

According to a press release by Scientific Games, which powers the PA iLottery program, it is on track to top more than $1 billion in sales annually.

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PA iLottery sales in recent months

Currently, 46 US states participate in lotteries, but only 13 allow online lottery games. Of those 13, only seven states, of which PA is one, sell e-instant games.

Comparing sales from recent weeks with weeks prior to the coronavirus shows that there was an 80% increase in iLottery sales, along with an increase of 200% in first-time players.

Additionally, the single-day record for online and mobile sales hit $4.2 million, with current averages running around $3 million per day.

Drew Svitko, executive director of the Pennsylvania Lottery, stated:

“During this unprecedented time, we are reminding lottery players that they have the option to take advantage of playing PA Lottery online games at pailottery.com. This is the only place where PA Lottery players can buy their Powerball® and Mega Millions® tickets without having to leave their homes.”

Largest Mega Millions jackpot since June 2019

Speaking of the Mega Millions, the jackpot is at its highest in over a year. The only Mega jackpot hit so far this year was on Feb. 11, when a $202 million ticket was sold in New Jersey.

The jackpot rolled over again, surpassing the $400 million mark, after no one hit it in the Friday, June 6, drawing. However, three tickets — in Connecticut, Florida and New Jersey — did match five numbers to win $1 million.

The estimated jackpot for the drawing on Tuesday, June 9, is $410 million, making it the 11th largest in the history of the game. It is also just the eighth time it has gone over $400 million in the past six years, according to the official Mega Millions site.

To scoop up this hefty jackpot, you need to match all six numbers: five white balls plus the gold Mega Ball.

Be sure to check the winning numbers on PlayPennsylvania after each 11 p.m. ET Mega Millions and Powerball drawing.

Other states to look at PA iLottery’s success

As other states look to emulate Pennsylvania’s success with their lottery programs, Pat McHugh, the group chief executive, lottery, for Scientific Games, stated:

“What’s encouraging to states looking to launch online/mobile lottery sales is that when the COVID crisis happened, Pennsylvania had a partnership and program in place to protect vital funding — including effective management of the combined retail and digital game portfolio, an iLottery platform and services to attract and retain players, integrated to support retailers while continuing the strategic management of traditional lottery products sold in stores.

Many states will look to Pennsylvania’s program to modernize lottery products online and at retail. Pennsylvania has effectively managed high-performing retail and digital instant games, creating benefits for players, retailers and the Commonwealth’s programs supporting older Pennsylvanians.”

Indeed, many of the PA lottery retailers were forced to close, and traditional game sales plummeted by 25%. Yet in March, online lottery sales increased by 30%.

PA Lottery provides funding for older Pennsylvanians

Supporting the PA iLottery program means providing and protecting funding for state programs benefiting older residents.

Thanks to the PA Lottery, PA senior citizens are provided with:

  • Meals and senior centers
  • Medical prescription assistance
  • Transportation services such as either free or reduced fares
  • Additional care services
  • Rebates for property or rent

The PA lottery continues to set a prime example for other states to follow on multiple fronts.