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Recession or not, Michigan lottery tickets are hot sellers

Michigan LotteryMichigan Lottery: Recession or not, Michigan lottery tickets are hot sellers

Tonight's huge Mega Millions jackpot helping already good sales

These tough times might have folks cutting back lots of things, but Keith Longhurst figures lottery tickets will never be one of them.

That's why it's no surprise to him that Michigan Lottery officials say lottery sales are running at a near record pace and are expected to get a boost by tonight's $207 million Mega Millions jackpot.

"We get people in here on unemployment, and they're putting together change just to buy one ticket," said Longhurst, an employee at Party World liquor store, 5568 Alpine Ave. NW in Alpine Township.

Even with Michigan leading the country with 15 percent unemployment, lottery sales have withstood the recession.

Earlier this year, lottery officials in states such as California, Florida, Indiana, Iowa and Kansas saw sales drop as the economy affected discretionary spending.

But as of last week, Michigan's lottery sales reached $2,090,745,797, spokeswoman Andi Brancato said.

Brancato said she thinks sales remain strong because the state offers something for everyone, with games that cost as little as 50 cents to as high as $50.

"There are certainly still people who have discretionary income to spend and some might buy CDs, or go out to eat, or go out to the movies," she said. "Others might buy a lottery ticket."

Lunch-hour lottery sales were brisk Thursday at Party World, a Comstock Park-area store that has sold five winning tickets in the past two years, including three $1 million-plus winners.

Superstitions run so high that most players insist the employees rub their tickets on a dried four-leaf clover found on the store's property and now displayed atop a cash register.

Grand Rapids resident Greg Schlosser was one of many who stopped in to play Mega Millions, hoping to win big in the 13-state lottery known for big jackpots but long odds.

"Here's the winning ticket right here," he joked after picking his numbers.

According to the Mega Millions web site, the odds of winning the jackpot are about 176 million to 1. That compares to a 700,000 to 1 chance of being struck by lightening, according to the National Weather Service.

Today's $207 million jackpot, is tied for the 13th largest since the game's inception in 2002. Of the 89 jackpots so far, eight have been from Michigan.

Larry Tillman owns a restaurant in Grand Rapids but stops at Party World each day to buy scratch-off games and a Mega Millions or Classic Lotto ticket on his way to his Kent City home.

Tillman said some folks might consider it a waste of money, but he figures every ticket is an opportunity.

"Somebody's gonna win, why not me?" he said.

Hitting the jackpot: Year-to-date state lottery sales compared to all of 2008

2009 unaudited figures, as of Aug. 17 (partial year):

  • $2,090,745,797 — lottery sales
  • $180,119,160 — Mega Millons
  • $58,008,209 — Classic Lotto 47
  • $668,056,427 — Instants
  • $462,623,940 — Club Keno

2008 (entire year):

  • $2,330,198,000 — lottery sales
  • $184,766,000 — Mega Millions
  • $64,129,000 — Classic Lotto 47
  • $734,200,000 — Instants
  • $526,475,000 — Club Keno

Jo Bode, right, of Newago waits in line Thursday to buy Mega Millions lottery tickets at Party World in Alpine Township. Bode hopes to strike it rich a second time. She and her husband, Jim, won a quarter-million dollars playing the lottery in 2005.(Click for full-size; opens in new window)Jo Bode, right, of Newago waits in line Thursday to buy Mega Millions lottery tickets at Party World in Alpine Township. Bode hopes to strike it rich a second time. She and her husband, Jim, won a quarter-million dollars playing the lottery in 2005.

Grand Rapids Press

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6 comments. Last comment 7 years ago by bigato1010.
Page 1 of 1
DC81's avatar - batman39
United States
Member #54830
August 31, 2007
985 Posts
Posted: August 21, 2009, 1:34 pm - IP Logged

I like how they mentioned that store in Comstock Park and the winners it has had, gave it examples sans the big one of that convicted sex-offender who won a MM Jackpot there last year. They really swept him under the rug fast.... On the bright side, we haven't heard from him since either. LOL

You can't predict random.

    Halle99's avatar - Lottery-043.jpg
    United States
    United States
    Member #68252
    December 16, 2008
    168 Posts
    Posted: August 21, 2009, 2:02 pm - IP Logged



    Good luck to all....I sent for my tix too.....

    "Wait eagerly for the Lord, and keep to the way; God wil raise you to possess the land; you will gloat when the wicked are cut off".

                                                                                  Psalms 37:34

      Piaceri's avatar - sarsony1
      Republic of Texas
      United States
      Member #57557
      January 9, 2008
      1095 Posts
      Posted: August 21, 2009, 11:02 pm - IP Logged

      "Well somebody's got to win it. Why not me?"  Thumbs Up


      Best reason in the world to play, even if you are scraping pennies from the bottom of your purse, wallet, or pocket.


      Michigan hasn't won in a while, so it's time. And I got the ticket. White Bounce



        New Member
        Detroit, MI
        United States
        Member #74839
        May 21, 2009
        3 Posts
        Posted: August 21, 2009, 11:10 pm - IP Logged

        I've got the winner 9-19-25-38-47 Megaball 2!!!

          charmed7's avatar - Lottery-013.jpg
          United States
          Member #65282
          September 22, 2008
          1992 Posts
          Posted: August 22, 2009, 10:31 am - IP Logged

          There r alot of folks pinchin pennies in MI, So why not take a chance

          250,0000. looks go to me right now. Empty Pockets

            bigato1010's avatar - army

            United States
            Member #33588
            February 22, 2006
            2068 Posts
            Posted: September 1, 2009, 8:41 am - IP Logged

            It will be very stupid for anyone to just use their unemployment check to buy a lottrey ticket that they know they are going to lose. Keep the <snip> money given to you by the goverment for better use. Big Grin Everyone going around saying if don't buy a ticket you are not part of the winners so why buy the ticket and loose ? why don't you save your buck to be a winner ?Banana

            This post has been automatically changed by the Lottery Post computer system to remove inappropriate content and/or spam.

            '' Inteligence quod consensio = Prosperitas "       Sun Smiley