The Lotto Matrix: Michigan Lottery Inks Deal With Pollard Banknote, Surveillance On Granny, More

Christian Holmes

lottery results roundup

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

Let the good times roll


To kick off the week on Monday, well-known instant game manufacturer Pollard Banknote announced that it had signed a new five-year deal with the Michigan Lottery.

Under this new contract, Pollard Banknote will continue to be the primary distributor of instant game tickets (mostly scratch-offs) for the lottery. Per the terms of the deal, Pollard Banknote will produce 90% of the instant games and will also be awarded a contract to supply validation pull-tab tickets.

There is also an option to renew in one-year increments for up to five additional years after the initial term has expired on the deal.

“We are honored to be selected as the primary supplier of instant game tickets to the Michigan Lottery,” said Pollard Banknote Co-CEO Doug Pollard. “We deeply value the relationship we have built with both the Michigan Lottery and the communities in which we operate within the state. As a testament to our successful collaboration and efforts to deliver outstanding games and innovative retail solutions into the Michigan market, we take pride in having contributed to four-fold sales growth since the start of our partnership almost 30 years ago. We look forward to continued success and growth in the years to come.”

According to metrics shared in the press release (and fact-checked by Lottery Geeks), over the last 10 years, Pollard Banknote printed approximately 90% of the Michigan Lottery’s instant games. The lottery earned the distinction of the fastest-growing U.S. lottery in terms of instant ticket sales per capita, with a 182% increase during that time when compared to the average U.S. lottery growth of 66% in instant ticket sales per capita. This growth moved the Lottery’s per capita sales ranking to seventh among U.S. lotteries over the same 10-year period.

Pollard Banknote also helped to create the lottery’s first $50 scratch-off ticket, $300,000,000 Diamond Riches, and helped to diversify the lottery’s $20 offerings, causing it to grow 385% from the fiscal years of 2013 to 2023. Pollard Banknote also aided in the strategic development of the lottery’s core game category, including such games as Cashword and Wild Time, leading to a 106% increase in Cashword sales and a 204% increase in Wild Time sales from FY 2013-2023.

Long story short: The deal has proven mutually beneficial for both sides, making a five-year (or more) renewal a natural. 

Private eye checking in on grandma

Amelia Barnham, a 69-year-old woman living in West London, spends £60 a week on lotto tickets and has won several small prizes totalling £23,600. Much like a sports bettor — or “punter,” as the Brits say — Barnham chases profits as a side hustle. And she’s had enough success that lotto operator Allwyn investigated her after she won £800 on a £1 HotPicks ticket.

Allwyn was concerned with her high win rate, thinking something nefarious was happening behind closed doors. So Allwyn sent an investigator out to see if it was all just a lucky coincidence or something much more sinister. 

Barnham told The Sun that she was made to feel like “some sort of criminal” in her own home. The investigator demanded she prove her identity and his demeanor caused Barnham to feel “intimidated.” At one point, the investigator photographed Barnham unexpectedly.

Burnham told the investigator that the tickets were legitimate.

“I have never had this trouble before and I am worried it will put people off buying tickets,” Burham told The Sun.

Upset with the process, Burnham made her feelings known to the investigator.

“It’s ridiculous,” she said. “He was embarrassed and kept saying sorry. … He also said, ‘I am only the messenger.’ … How can they treat people like this? … It made me feel very uneasy and upset.”

Unmoved by Burnham’s statement, the lottery operator has yet to pay Burnham her winnings. 

Illinois Lottery is breaking records

Propelled by two billion-dollar jackpots, Illinois Lottery sales set a record $337 million in revenue for December.

Lottery Director Harold Mays said the state has recorded sales of $1.8 billion and estimated returns of $468 million for the 2023 fiscal year.

In the fiscal year, Illinois Lottery proceeds were allocated as follows: 

  • Over $2.4 billion was paid in prizes for lottery sales.
  • $882 million was used to fund public education and good causes.
  • $174 million went to Illinois Lottery retailers for commissions and selling bonuses.
  • $194 million was used for operating costs.

New Jersey updates its menu

Since March 4, all Quick Draw players in New Jersey have been get more chances to win bigger prizes with a free Progressive Jackpot chance on every ticket as well a new Double BULLSEYE option for increased payouts on BULLSEYE numbers.

Also newly added: The E-Z Play option, which should appeal to more casual players. The New Jersey Lottery calls it an “exciting game,” where players win bigger prizes by matching more numbers and there are new drawings every four minutes.

Best of the rest

The Motown low-down: New book explores gambling’s impact on Detroit’s Black community 

Fourth-quarter heroics: IGT cites ‘growing and resilient’ lottery vertical as key to Q4 revenue uptick

Wynn CEO weighs in: The online casino cannibalization debate is reductive (thus far)

The Jackpocket bump: ‘Lucky’ New York lottery seller is not lucky, exactly, just busy

Trip worth taking: Wainfleet woman’s visit to Port Colborne gas station results in Encore lottery win

Through the never: Why legalizing US iGaming is so hard

Wait, what now? A woman claims the $25k top prize in Texas by matching no numbers at all 

Why can’t we be friends?: Ontario court issues an order on the legality of cross-jurisdictional online gaming

Doing the impossible: What’s more likely: the perfect March Madness bracket or winning the lottery?

Psych 101 (million): To combat jackpot fatigue, lottery officials may have to go inside the human mind

Check the prize box and see you next week!