Michigan Lottery website hands out second $1m prize in 17 months

TAGs: Gun Lake Casino, Lottery, Michigan, michigan lottery, Powerball

michigan-lottery-gun-lake-casinoThe Michigan Lottery’s website has given out its second $1m prize in 17 months.

On July 13, a woman won $1m playing the Powerball lottery from a ticket she purchased through the Michigan Lottery’s website. This marked the first time any Michigan Lottery player had won a seven-figure Powerball jackpot online.

The win came 17 months after the Lottery celebrated its first $1m online payday, which came when a woman purchased an instant win scratch game via the website. The online sales have proven popular with Michigan residents, generating an extra $147m for the state since the site launched in November 2014.

To capitalize on the media attention, the Lottery announced it would give all new online customers a $5 free-play bonus offer ahead of Wednesday’s Powerball drawing.

For the record, that jackpot went unclaimed, meaning Saturday’s jackpot will be at least $478m, the fifth largest Powerball drawing and the eighth largest jackpot in US history. The largest US jackpot was the nearly $1.6b prize split by three winners this January.

In related news, Michigan has reached a deal with a local tribe over the state lottery going online. A year ago, the Gun Lake Tribe started withholding millions of dollars of the state’s share of casino revenue, based on the tribe’s belief that the Lottery’s website – and the launch of lottery terminals in social clubs – violated their tribal-state gaming compact.

The Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Potawatomi Indians – known as the Gun Lake Tribe based on their Gun Lake Casino – said its 2007 compact allowed it to cut its revenue sharing payments by half if the state authorized the Lottery to operate ‘Electronic Games of Chance’.

In good faith, the tribe established an escrow fund into which it deposited the funds that would ordinarily have gone to the state, a sum that eventually grew to a total of $21.7m.

On Monday, the tribe announced that it had reached a “partial settlement” with the state to divvy up that $21.7m. The state gets half, the tribe gets 35% and the remainder will go toward funding non-gambling economic development initiatives for the tribe.

The tribe welcomed the deal but said it doesn’t resolve their concerns that their compact has been violated and the earnings potential of their casino diminished. Gov. Rick Snyder’s legal counsel said the agreement set a pattern for the ultimate resolution of the dispute, which has not yet progressed to the point where the courts are involved.


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