The Lotto Matrix: No More Bologna, Publix Power, Powerball Jackpot, Missed Fortunes & More

Erik Gibbs

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

Powerball fireworks

The drawing on the eve of the Fourth of July crowned one jackpot winner in Ohio in addition to three $1 million winners for the Match 5 — two in California and one in Pennsylvania.

The winning numbers were 2, 26, 33, 55, 57, with the Powerball at 22 and 2x on the Powerplay. The estimated jackpot had risen to $139 million (cash value 66.5 million). An additional five players claimed five-figure prizes of $50,000 for matching four numbers plus the red powerball.

Back to $20 million we go for the next drawing and start of the next cycle on Saturday.

Can the Canned Meat

A Tennessee father and son are celebrating a million-dollar lottery win. They purchased a $20 scratch-off ticket from a gas station in Kentucky, and it turned out to be a life-changing decision.

The dad, who prefers to stay anonymous, joked to the cashier that he’d never eat bologna again if he won the million-dollar prize. He matched the winning symbols, so he’ll now be able to live up to his promise.

Still in disbelief, he called his son to share the incredible news. The son, Jody, couldn’t believe his ears either.  His dad then drove over to his place, and together they made plans to claim their prize at the Kentucky Lottery Headquarters.

They opted for a one-time lump sum payment of $700,000 instead of receiving smaller payments spread out over several years. However, after taxes, the final check they received came to around $504,000.

Despite their newfound wealth, it seems the dad isn’t letting the win go to his head.  He was even spotted mowing his lawn while they waited to cash in the winning ticket.

Not a Mistake

Lady Luck smiled on Pamela Arscott in Illinois this month as the state lottery celebrates its 50th anniversary. A casual trip by the Franklin Park resident to Walmart turned into a windfall when a $10 bill became a ticket to a million bucks.

Arscott, drawn to the new Illinois Lottery’s 50th-anniversary “Celebration Instant Tickets,” grabbed a $10 option on a whim. “I saw them and decided to try one,” she said in a press release. “Honestly, I forgot about it completely until the next day.”

She added, “I started scratching the ticket and saw I had a matching number for a million dollars. I thought it was a mistake. I immediately woke up my daughter. I told her to run out to the store to scan it to double check and make sure it’s real. She got to the store, scanned the ticket, called me and said, “It’s real. You’re getting a million dollars, Mom.’”

Little did she know, that spur-of-the-moment purchase held the key to a life-changing prize – the top million-dollar reward for the celebratory scratch-off game.

Publix a lottery magnet in Florida

June brought a slight increase in Florida Lottery winners compared to May, with 64 lucky players taking home prizes, according to Florida Today. This number, however, still falls short of the peak of 81 winners seen in February.

The biggest scores came from two Mega Millions tickets, each worth $4 million. Interestingly, these winning tickets were purchased from rival Publix supermarkets located directly across the street from each other.

Looking at the year so far, the number of winners has fluctuated: January saw 56, February had the most with 81, March had 57, April reached 60, May dipped to 53, and June bounced back to 64.

Over a fifth of the June winners (22) chose the “quick pick” option, letting the system pick their numbers for them. There were also three days where no winning tickets were sold in any drawing except for Cash Pop.

For the sixth month in a row, Publix reigned supreme as the top seller of winning lottery tickets in Florida, with 7-Eleven a distant second with just 5 winning tickets sold.

Check your tickets

A lucky lottery player in Washington State is holding onto an unclaimed fortune. The Muckleshoot Casino Resort in Auburn sold a winning ticket for $1.3 million Lotto jackpot on June 22, but the winner has yet to come forward.

While the big winner remains a mystery, the casino itself isn’t left empty-handed. For selling the golden ticket, Muckleshoot Casino received a $13,000 retailer bonus from Washington Lottery. This adds to its lucky streak this month, as the casino also paid out two other large Lotto prizes – $1,000 each – on June 3 and 7. 

Hopefully, the winner checks their tickets soon and claims their life-changing prize.

Connecticut rolls out ILottery

Connecticut lottery fans have a more convenient way to play their favorite games. The CT Lottery has launched its brand new iLottery platform, allowing them to participate in the fun from the comfort of their own home.

Connecticut’s iLottery offers a variety of games, including KENO, Powerball, Mega Millions, Lucky for Life, Lotto, Cash5, Play3, and Play4.

Here’s how it works: simply visit ctilottery.org or download the CT Lottery mobile app (available for iOS now, with Android coming next month).

Save your lucky numbers and preferred wagers for easy access, group your favorite games for quick selection, and even set limits for both spending and time spent on the app.

The CT Lottery app still offers all the essentials players have come to expect. Players still have the ability to view winning numbers, scan their physical tickets to check for wins, and much more.

With this launch, Connecticut joins the ranks of 11 other states offering iLottery options.

Dream lottery win unclaimed

The Hoosier Lottery has announced that the winner of the $458,872 jackpot from Indiana’s CA$H 5 lottery game has missed the deadline to claim their prize. The winning ticket from the January 2, 2024, drawing, which successfully matched all five numbers, was not presented for payment before the stipulated deadline this Monday.

The ticket was reportedly purchased at a local convenience store in Indianapolis, which has seen a flurry of activity and media attention since the announcement of the unclaimed prize. Lottery officials have expressed their disappointment at the unfortunate outcome, emphasizing the importance of timely claims to avoid such scenarios.

The CA$H 5 game, known for its favorable odds and daily draws, has become increasingly popular among Hoosiers. The lottery commission has reiterated the procedure for claiming winnings, urging players to check their tickets promptly and contact the lottery office for guidance on the redemption process.

As the prize goes unclaimed, the funds will be redirected to various state programs that benefit from lottery proceeds. These include initiatives in education, infrastructure, and public welfare. The lottery’s contribution to these programs is a silver lining to the otherwise disheartening news of the unclaimed jackpot.

Best Of The Rest

Gaming Labs adds lottery veteran:  Gaming Laboratories hires Kurt Freedlund as senior lottery account executive

Tag; you’re it: Stranger’s license plate number earns lottery player a $50,000 prize

Never too old to win: Lansing man wins nearly half million in lottery

So close, yet so far: Mega Millions player wins big in California. Where was the lucky ticket sold?

Check the prize box and see you next week!