The Lotto Matrix: Sports Betting Dinging Mass Scratcher Sales, Powerball Jackpot Winner on The Run, More

Christian Holmes

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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.


Some lottery operators have believed the proliferation of online sports betting, under certain circumstances, might hurt their business. Some players might determine their odds of winning at sports betting would be way better than playing the lottery. Or the simple ease of access would siphon business in a state like Massachusetts where the lottery is not yet authorized to sell “digital instants,” the online equivalent of a scratch-off ticket.

Early indications show that sports betting may be having a real impact on Massachusetts Lottery sales. Originally, lottery officials thought bringing back some $50 scratch-off tickets would excite the customer base and drive up revenue. And it did have some effect.

 “We couldn’t control that all of a sudden we had sports betting as a competitor that was doing $6 billion, $5 billion in sales,” Lottery Director Mark William Bracken told local news outlet MassLive this week.

Bracken’s data reported during Tuesday’s Lottery Commissioner’s meeting underlined the scope of the challenge facing the Lottery. First things first, it’s not all doom and gloom.

According to MassLive, “The Lottery saw its net profits rise by $83.1 million, or 2%, in fiscal 2024, with sales totaling $4.2 billion over the same eight months last year. The agency reported a monthly estimated profit of $101.4 million, compared to $95.3 million last year.”

Now the bad.

The lottery reported $478.3 million in sales in February, a decrease of $35 million, or 6.8%, compared to February 2023. Bracken said the lottery’s year-to-date net profit of $777.9 million was an estimated decrease of $28.4 million from last year.

It’s not a great sample but scratch-off tickets aren’t thriving at present, either. What accounts for nearly 65% of the Lottery’s revenue slipped about 41.1 million last month compared to the $363.8 million it brought in sales for February 2023, when it introduced its first $50 scratch ticket game.

“As we’ve always said, we’re not anti-sports betting,” he said. “But the issue that we’ve talked about many times, is the sports bettors can offer that convenience of being able to play on your phone.”

Jackpocket’s acquisition by DraftKings didn’t soften his views on the subject, as the sports betting competition is now carrying a lottery product, making for an uneasy dynamic.

“If we had online lottery, we’d be able to do what they call ‘electronic instant tickets’… [What we call] the ‘instant’ ticket really isn’t instant anymore,” the director said.

Security detail?

At first, Struyck put a “NO TRESPASSING” sign up on his property. However, it didn’t stop sketchy people from trying to sneak a peek. Problems slowly escalated once his name became heavily publicized by the California Lottery

California laws state that a jackpot winner can’t remain anonymous. Their name and age are shared with the world, as is their general location. With the evolution of technology, it doesn’t take much for a person with ill intent to look up someone like Struyck and plan their next moves. 

Luckily, Struyck has some backup. Speaking to the media, Dan Perry, a neighbor and owner of a local fireworks shop, said, “If he needs any security, he’ll be fine. I have Jake here [his dog], and we’re cheap.”

Fellas like Perry have also gone on the record saying if Struyck were to donate some money to the town, he’d have a lot more help with concealment issues. 

“This town needs every bit of help it can get,” the business owner said. “It’s one of those rural towns in California that’s kind of neglected by [state capital] Sacramento, the economy has been down for years.

“It would be great if he could open a business or something like that, but if I lived here, I’d get the hell out, get a nice little place in Santa Barbara or something.”

Struyck might be following Perry’s advice. He’s gone MIA. Local media traced his most likely whereabouts in San Diego to his grandfather’s home. It’s still unconfirmed if Struyck is there or if he’ll return to his old home. 

As of now, Struyck is a man on the run. 

Illinois Lottery gets a new boss

On Tuesday, the Illinois Senate confirmed Harold Mays as the new Director of the Illinois Department of the Lottery.

To those who observe the Illinois market, this was an unsurprising move, as Mays was serving as the Acting Director of the Lottery. During his time in that role, he helped produce decent numbers for the state, raising $2.8 billion to support K-12 education and capital projects like the “Rebuild Illinois” initiative, among other things. 

For further context, the Illinois Lottery generated over $11.5 billion in sales since Mays started as Acting Director in fiscal year 2019. Compared to other states during his tenure, Illinois has been a mid-tier earner. 

“I am truly honored to be given the opportunity to serve as the Director of the Illinois Department of the Lottery,” Mays said. “I look forward to continuing the Department’s efforts to deliver on its mission to raise money for education, capital projects, and special causes in an ethical and socially responsible way.”

Hitting the iron while it’s still hot!

Imagine winning not just one big prize but two in a three-year span. For Virginia native Gayla Guishard, that’s her current situation.

In Virginia’s New Year’s Millionaire Raffle in 2021, Guishard won $100K. That said, she kept playing the lottery roughly three years after the big score. Guishard mostly played for fun. She never thought in her wildest dreams that she’d catch again.

Think again. Guishard bought a scratch-off ticket called Virginia Millions and scratched it in the Race Way station. When She noticed it was a big winner, she went nuts along with everyone else. Things got so loud and crazy that people from outside the store came piling in to make sure everything was alright.

After collecting herself and calming her emotions, Guishard said everything was okay and nothing to worry about. 

When speaking to lottery officials, Guishard said she had no idea what to do with the money. She was just happy to have it.


A Maryland man played the lottery for decades like a journeyman quarterback trying to realize his dream of being the top dog in the NFL. In his many decades of playing, he had never won more than $500 at a time, and even those occurrences were few and far between. 

The man decided to buy two $5 Ravens X5 scratch-off tickets, a game he had never played before. Little did he know that one of those tickets would score him a date with lottery officials to collect a $100K prize.

The man, who wished to remain anonymous, bought the tickets because he had been a Baltimore Ravens fan his entire life and wanted to see what the tickets were all about.

When he scratched the first one, it was a loser, not surprisingly. The second one, not so much. At first, the man thought there was a mistake, so he asked the cashier to verify his winnings. 

Spoiler alert: It was not a mistake. The man had won $100K.

“Man, ain’t no way this happening to me! This is my Super Bowl,” the man told lottery officials.

After figuring out the news, the man put the ticket in his car and set off to collect his winnings.

As it stands, he doesn’t know how he’ll send his money. Nevertheless, he does plan to put a good chunk of it into savings.

Best of the rest

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Perils of democracy: How to stop a gambling bill

The plot thickens: Insider questions role of Entain chair in CEO search

Living it up: Arizona Lottery adds $7.5 million in prizes.

League of Operators: Responsible Online Gaming Association brings seven major operators together to ‘educate, equip, empower’

Different strokes for different folks: Media need to realize not all sports gambling scandals are equal