The Lotto Matrix: NJ Lottery Players Strike It Rich, Rhode Island Gold, Sci Games Expands Reach, And More

Erik Gibbs

lottery matrix

Welcome to this week’s “Lotto Matrix,” a weekly Friday compilation of the lottery industry’s most significant, interesting, or absurd happenings.

Banner week for NJ lottery players

New Jersey lottery players were celebrating last week after a windfall of prizes, including two new millionaires and several lucky winners of $10,000. The biggest wins came from the Powerball and Mega Millions drawings.

One ticket holder matched all five white balls and the red Powerball number, taking home the state’s share of the $221 million Powerball jackpot. This win marks the second-largest jackpot won in New Jersey this year, following the $1.13 billion Mega Millions jackpot claimed in March.

Details about the winner remain unknown, as they have yet to come forward to claim their prize.

Another New Jersey resident became an instant millionaire after their ticket matched all five winning numbers in the Mega Millions drawing. The jackpot for Mega Millions went unclaimed that week, but winning $1 million is a decent consolation prize.

Beyond the millionaire makers, the Pick-6 lottery also delivered a winner. A single ticket matched all six numbers, resulting in a $3 million windfall. Three additional New Jersey residents also walked away with a significant financial boost after their tickets matched certain combinations of numbers in the Powerball or Mega Millions drawings, each winning $10,000.

Rhode Island Lottery gold

The Rhode Island Lottery is celebrating a significant milestone as it turns 50 years old. The journey began with “The Lot,” the first game, which launched on May 21, 1974. The inaugural drawing was a public event held on the Statehouse lawn, drawing an enthusiastic crowd. Today, the Rhode Island Lottery offers a more diverse array of draw games, including Keynote, Bingo, Day Numbers, and Wild Money.

To commemorate its 50th anniversary, the state has planned a year-long celebration filled with special events and player appreciation initiatives. These celebrations include promotions on popular draw games like Powerball and an additional $50,000 added to every Wild Money jackpot.

The Rhode Island Lottery, according to its website, has contributed nearly $9 billion to the state’s General Fund over the years. This funding supports essential services and programs for Rhode Island residents. Additionally, lottery winners have collectively received over $57 billion in prizes, while businesses have benefited from more than $6 billion, including retailer commissions and sponsorships.

Keep it in the family

Last Tuesday, Thomas Ensko of Blackstone, Massachusetts, won $1 million on a Mega Millions ticket. This stroke of luck is somewhat of a familiar routine for the Ensko family. According to the Lottery Commission, Ensko’s wife won $1 million over 20 years ago on an instant ticket.

In a press release from the Mass Lottery, Ensko revealed that his winning numbers were chosen based on his birthdate, a strategy he has stuck with for the past two decades. “I’ve been playing the same numbers for the last 20 years,” he said. His perseverance paid off when he matched all five numbers, excluding the Mega Ball, beating the 1-in-12,607,306 odds.

Ensko plans to use his $1 million prize to support his children and grandchildren.

Women’s intuition doesn’t fail

Lady Luck has smiled on Donna Smith, a lottery enthusiast from Huntersville in Charlotte, North Carolina. During a visit to a local grocery store, Smith decided to purchase a $10 scratch-off ticket for the Triple 777 game. This decision led to a $700,000 win.

Smith shared her reaction in an interview with the NC Education Lottery. “I thought I was going to have a heart attack,” she said, recalling how she had to calm herself down upon realizing her good fortune. She added that her intuition had guided her to the winning ticket.

After taxes, Smith received $500,503, which she plans on using to pay off her house and car, as well as helping others.

Bundle of joy, bundle of cash

A Florida couple experienced a double dose of joy recently, winning a $1 million scratch-off prize and welcoming a healthy baby boy three weeks later. The Florida Lottery announced that John Stanhill and Victoria Oakley of Jacksonville claimed a $1 million prize from a “500X The Cash” scratch-off ticket. Stanhill had made a $50 investment in the ticket.

“We won the lottery — and then we won the lottery again with our beautiful, healthy baby boy! All in three weeks’ time!”

— Florida Lottery winner Victoria Oakley

They opted for a one-time lump sum payment of $640,000. The retailer who sold the winning ticket also benefited, receiving a $2,000 bonus commission.

Washington Lottery picks Scientific Games

Scientific Games has secured its position as the primary provider of scratch games for Washington’s Lottery through a new six-year contract, with the possibility of renewal for another four years. This agreement comes as a continuation of a decade-long partnership that has seen substantial growth in the state’s lottery offerings.

Over the past 10 years, Scientific Games has been instrumental in delivering innovative and engaging instant game entertainment, contributing to Washington’s Lottery’s success. The company’s commitment to utilizing advanced technology and creative content has resonated with players, leading to increased sales and funds raised for various state programs.

The new contract signifies confidence in Scientific Games’ ability to maintain the momentum of growth and continue to offer a diverse range of scratch games that appeal to a broad audience.

Best of the rest

Bittersweet rewards: ‘It was heartbreaking, it was bittersweet’: Armstrong County woman wins $1 million in lottery 2 weeks before husband’s death

Michigan makes history: Wayne County man wins largest online Michigan Lottery jackpot to date: $7.19 million

Free time makes for $150K windfall: Slow day at work leads Maryland woman to $150,000 lottery prize

You missed a zero: Lottery player thinks she won $3,000 — then checks her Iowa prize again. ‘No way’