Michigan is quickly becoming a model for other states that are thinking about online lottery systems, nearing 100,000 users and $4 million in revenue in just a few months — despite an absence of promotion and marketing. The new online lottery system has already generated $3.7 million in revenue for Michigan, taking into account payouts that have been made to winning players. Holyfield said the under-the-radar rollout of online lotto games was designed to ensure the system was functioning properly before wider exposure. Michigan, Illinois and Georgia are the only states with online lottery games so far, with Illinois’ iLottery doing very well in its early stages, as well.
That anticipated growth is projected to increase the Lottery’s contributions to the state School Aid Fund by nearly $120 million over the next four years and another $360 million over the four years after that.
Radio promotions are in the works, and more lottery games will be added online soon, as well.
Dustin Gouker has been a sports journalist for more than 15 years, working as a reporter, editor and designer -- including stops at The Washington Post and the D.C.
In 2011, the federal government opened the door to online lotteries when it lifted its ban on non-sports gambling.  That action sent the Michigan Lottery down the cyber-path to online lottery games. Making state lottery games available online has resulted in a disagreement between the state and a native tribe. LANSING – The Michigan Lottery has extended its contract with a company that helps run games such as Powerball, Mega Millions and Club Keno. DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Mega Millions estimated jackpot has soared to $636 million, making it the second largest jackpot in U.S. Michigan Lottery players have more than visions of sugar plums dancing through their heads this holiday season. Five winning tickets in Tuesday’s Mega Millions lottery drawing were purchased at a Meijer store in Northville. After news reports circulated that a lottery winner in Michigan was still using food stamps, one state senator has decided to try to close a loophole in state law.

Michigan Lottery is planning radio promotions next month and is working to eventually make draw games, such as Mega Millions or Powerball, available for play online. Michigan, before the numbers above were even released, was bullish on the future of its iLottery, expecting almost half a billion dollars in revenue over the next eight years. Since then, the jackpot for this Saturday's drawing has climbed to an estimated $800 million.
With some 160,000 registered online players, it's still a small part of the state's lottery business. A potentially record breaking lottery jackpot is on the line tonight.    The Mega Millions jackpot stands at $586 million. More than 700 million dollars is on the line in this weekend’s Powerball and Mega Millions drawings. Those were the lucky numbers for the winner of over $300 million from a Powerball lottery ticket sold in Lapeer, Mich. The five tickets matched five of the six numbers drawn and they are worth a quarter million dollars each.
He has played poker recreationally for his entire adult life and has written about poker since 2008. But it's set up a big showdown with the Gun Lake Tribe, a showdown that's already blown a $7 million hole in the budget of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. The lottery said Friday that the winning Fantasy 5 jackpot from the March 9, 2013 drawing was bought at the Smokers Depot & Convenience store in the Detroit suburb of Southfield. The jackpot had been $586 million, but lottery officials increased it Tuesday morning because of strong ticket sales ahead of the evening drawing. The lottery on Friday reported nearly $2.5 billion in sales and $734 million in revenue for public schools. Andi Brancato is the spokeswoman for the Michigan Lottery. She says the two big jackpots are pushing lottery ticket sales.

In a news release issued Wednesday, the lottery says details about the ticket-holder won't be released until the prize is officially claimed.
Michigan Lottery spokeswoman Andi Brancato admits one store selling so many winning tickets is unusual. It says the contribution to schools was down 5.7 percent from a record-high payment in 2012 because of larger payouts to players.
Under terms of the contract, the bulk of the company's compensation is based on a percentage of sales.
Mega Millions changed its rules in October to help increase the jackpots by lowering the odds of winning the top prize to about 1 in 259 million.
Earlier this year, the State Legislature said no to a budget request from the Michigan Lottery for money to launch online and smart phone lottery sales. We'll also hear how new technology being developed here in Michigan might be able to help authorities identify potential threats in airports or in large crowds.
You will probably not win.  In fact, Grand Valley State University Professor John Gabrosek says the odds of the winner even being from Michigan are less than two percent.
It was purchased at Gould's Mini Mart in Sand Lake, and the drawing was held March 11, 2013.
Chris Gautz has been following this story for Crain's Detroit Business, and he joined us today.
And, Traverse City’s festivals are adding jobs and money to the local economy, some residents have had enough. First on the show, a move by the Michigan Lottery has caught retailers by surprise, a big surprise.

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