The most expensive ticket in the Michigan Lottery's 35-year history goes on sale May 7, offering the best odds ever of winning a $2 million top prize.
Tickets for the "Super Raffle" game will cost $50 each, and only 250,000 will be sold. In the June 18 drawing, two players each will win $2 million, 25 players will collect $100,000 each and 4,500 will get $500 apiece.
But will folks balk at the unprecedented $50 ticket price?
"We don't think that's going to be a problem," Lottery Commissioner Gary Peters said Friday. "We've been hearing from our retailers that players are asking when the next raffle game begins and they are eagerly awaiting it. We're confident the market is there."
Lansing bartender Steven Keast, 31, agrees. Keast, who was buying lottery tickets at a Lansing convenience store Friday, said he wouldn't hesitate to pay $50 for a chance to win the new game.
"People are looking for a way to win lots of money, and the odds in this game are better than in the regular lottery games," said Keast, who spends about $15 a week on lottery tickets. "I'll definitely buy one."
There have been two "Millionaire Raffles" this year, offering top prizes of $1 million. Tickets in those raffles each cost $20. The first raffle was limited to 500,000 tickets and sold out in 11 days. In the second raffle, drawn April 20, all 600,000 tickets were sold in six days.
The odds of collecting one of the new $2 million prizes: One in 125,000.
Peters said as an added sales incentive, the prize payout will be increased to 59 percent of the total money wagered. In the two earlier Millionaire Raffles the prizes amounted to 50 percent of the money wagered.
The huge interest in the raffles is credited with record-breaking lottery sales this year.
For the first six months of this fiscal year, lottery sales were nearly $1.2 billion, up 3 percent from last year's pace, Peters said.
Last year, the lottery shattered all records, with sales of $2.2 billion. Players pocketed $1.3 billion in prize money.
All proceeds from the lottery go into the School Aid Fund to help pay for K-12 education. Last year, that totaled $688 million.