Michigan Lottery On Way To Record Year Of Making Millionaires

Written By Matt Schoch on July 7, 2021 - Last Updated on July 8, 2021

From Ann Arbor to the tiny Upper Peninsula town of Vulcan, Michigan Lottery bettors are becoming millionaires.

The Michigan Lottery is on its way to a record smashing year of making millionaires in 2021.

Through Wednesday, the lottery had reported 34 tickets winning $1 million or more that had been sold this year in Michigan.

Maybe that six months was just a good run? Well, on July 1, already two $4 million winners have been claimed from that sale date.

Should you get in while the market is hot? Maybe not.

In some games, plump prizes being claimed mean fewer big winners are still out there. Plus, it’s of course worth noting that winning a significant lottery prize is still a longshot.

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2021 Michigan Lottery millionaires on record pace

How impressive is the half-year haul of nearly three-dozen Michigan Lottery millionaires?

Just 48 were reported in 2020, and the average per year from 2009 through 2020 was just 32.8, according to the lottery’s Big Winners database.

Amount Of $1 Million+ Michigan Lottery Prizes

YearCount
202134
202048
201957
201845
201738
201646
201538
201427
201332
201225
201117
201016
20095
Reported prizes through July 7, 2021

Since July 1 is technically in the first half of the year by day count, there was a pace set for 68 Michiganders to win seven-figure big. That’s not only a record amount — it projects to a 19% increase over the previous high.

Of course, the total could end up being more than that from the first half of the year, as unreported and already sold tickets could still be added later.

The overall lottery numbers are also moving at record paces, but not at the increase of the 2021 big scores. In fiscal year 2020, the Michigan Lottery collected $4.2 billion in sales and awarded $2.5 billion in prizes. Both were records for the sixth consecutive fiscal year, though the increase is usually less than 10%.nearly 12% jump in revenue in fiscal year 2016 has been the one exception.

Still, that’s well shy of the pace the Michigan Lottery millionaire club is on this year.

Where are the Michigan Lottery millionaires’ tickets being sold?

Much to the chagrin of rural residents, many of the top tickets are being sold to city dwellers.

Naturally, higher-populated areas have more chances at big scores, but these scores are strongly skewed to cities.

Michigan’s top-six populated counties have collected 23 of the 34 million-plus windfalls (67.6%). For context, Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Kent, Genesee and Washtenaw counties have 5.3 million residents, according to the 2019 U.S. Census estimate. That makes up for 53.7% of Michigan’s 9.9 million residential population.

Of Michigan’s 83 counties, only one $1 million winner was sold in the 30 least-populated counties. The ticket, bought in June in Ontonagon, was worth $1 million.

Of the 34 big scores, 13 were from multi-state drawings: Seven from Powerball, four from Mega Millions and two from Lucky For Life. Of those 13, three of the tickets were purchased online.

June was a busy month for big scores. As reported first Tuesday by the Detroit Free Press, 10 prizes of $100,000 or more were sold that month.

Could winning lottery odds decrease as more tickets cash?

The answer there is complicated.

For instant games bought at retailers, your odds obviously decrease for a jackpot or a big score when one is unearthed.

We reported on the Ontonagon woman who recently won $1 million on the instant 20X Cashword game. After her score, only two top $1 million prizes remain throughout the state.

In drawings such as Powerball, your odds for winning a prize are the same each drawing (1 in 24.9, by the way), regardless of the jackpot.

And at Mega Millions, even with a run of jackpot winners, the biggest prize always will have a floor of well over $1 million, and the odds to hit five numbers without a Megaplier for a $1 million score are always the same (1 in more than 12.6 million).

“With random games of chance, one player winning a jackpot prize on a draw game has no impact on the likelihood of anyone else winning a jackpot prize,” said Jake Harris, spokesperson for the Michigan Lottery.

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Written by
Matt Schoch

A Michigan native, Matt has worked at newspapers in Michigan, Missouri and the Virgin Islands. A versatile sports reporter, Matt has covered sailing on the Great Lakes, cricket in the Caribbean, high school and pro playoffs, and the Olympics in Rio. He's also the host of the Locked On Pistons Podcast and producer of a documentary on Emoni Bates. A former blackjack dealer, Matt has studied the industry from all sides.

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