The Michigan Lottery launches a new game on April 10, a $1 scratch-off named "Lucky Dog" with a picture of a Michigan dog on every ticket.
The lottery staff picked the seven winning dogs from photos submitted by about 1,100 Michigan dog owners. The lottery looked for cuteness and a representative range of breeds. No money is paid to the winners.
"The response exceeded our expectations by far, and I think it shows how much people in Michigan love their dogs," Lottery Commissioner Gary Peters told The Detroit News.
Michigan residents have 2.18 million pet dogs, the American Veterinary Medical Association says.
Peters has ordered 5.5 million Lucky Dog tickets. The top prizes is $5,000, and the lottery will pay out $3.25 million in prize money.
Theresa Neubauer, owner of 2-year-old featured-dog Milo, says she thinks the new game is a good idea.
"People who like animals might well gravitate toward picking a ticket with a dog on it," said Neubauer, a postal worker from Macomb County's Clinton Township. "My friends are all waiting for this ticket to come out."
Ken Lehocky, a retiree from Berrien Springs, owns 3-year-old Barney.
"Since he was a puppy, when 'Law & Order' comes on with that big boom, he jumps up and looks at the TV. After the opening scene when someone got killed or whatever, the music comes on and Barney just starts singing along, howling," said Lehocky. "And after the music stops he just lays down."
Colleen Clark of Alpena owns Abbey, a 5-year-old able to catch tennis balls.
She will chase a ball until your arm falls off," said Clark, a real estate agent. "I was totally shocked when the lottery people called to tell me that out of 1,100 photos Abbey was chosen."
"Of course, when you get a call from the lottery, you hope it's something else."
The Michigan Lottery sold $2.1 billion in tickets, gave $1.2 billion in prizes and paid $668 million into K-12 education last year.