Michigan Lottery Celebrates Its 40th Anniversary; online sales announcement in 2013
LANSING, MI – The Michigan Lottery has come a long way since 1972.
Forty years ago it started with a 50 cent bill, and today it offers instant games, Powerball, Mega Millions, game shows and more!
Michigan Lottery Commissioner Scott Bowen attended a cake-cutting celebration with former commissioners this week at Lansing headquarters.
The special guest was Gus Harrison, the first lottery commissioner, who fondly recalled the first winner – Hermus Millsaps of Taylor – who walked away with $ 1 million on February 22, 1973.
“He was 53, he was from Tennessee and he worked at the Chrysler plant… He just hung out after the drawing, and we didn’t get it,” Harrison said.
Well, it turns out the winner and his wife came to Lansing earlier today and spent all their money on the bus. They did not have the price of the bus to go home. So, Harrison got a lottery agent to take the couple home.
“It’s ironic, here he has over a million dollars in his pocket and he did not have the price of the bus to go home,” he said.
Bowen and the other Commissioners in attendance all agreed that these were the stories of the winners that made the job so enjoyable, as well as a dedicated staff.
Present: Former Michigan Lottery Commissioners Tom Weber, Don Gilmer, Jerry Crandall, Mike Carr and Harrison and current Commissioner Bowen.
• The Michigan Lottery generated $ 36.7 million for public education in its first year.
• For fiscal 2012, the lottery contributed $ 770 million to the Educational Assistance Fund.
• Since 1972, the lottery has generated $ 17 billion for public education.
At the meeting, Commissioner Bowen announced that the Michigan Lottery is increasing its online functionality to include the online sale of popular games.
“We are committed to making our operation financially responsible, so that players do not have to worry about illegal access to personal data,” he said in a brief presentation.
In April 2013, Michigan Lottery players – through the sale of subscriptions – will be able to purchase Classic Loto 47, Fantasy 5, Powerball and Mega Millions.
Various components of online sales will take the whole year, he added.
At the celebration party on Tuesday, officials showed a video of the history of the lottery.