The Michigan Lottery offers numerous on-line and scratch-off games, giving players a wide variety of prize possibilities. Initiated under the authority of Public Act 239 in 1972, the games collect funds to support Michigan’s public school system.
The Michigan Lottery began when the Green Ticket game started on November 13, 1972. Hermus Millsaps of Taylor, Michigan won the first $1 million prize on February 22, 1973. When he won, Mr. Millsaps was 53 years old, a native of Tennessee and worked at a Chrysler Automobile plant. He and his wife spent all their money on bus fare to Lansing and the first Michigan Lottery Commissioner, Gus Harrison, had a lottery agent drive the couple home. On October 7, 1975, the first instant game ticket was purchased. Terminal-based games commenced on June 6, 1977, when the Daily 3 game was introduced. The first "Michigan Lotto" game was introduced on August 13, 1984. The first The Big Game (now Mega Millions) ticket was sold on August 31, 1996. Since its commencement, the Michigan Lottery has donated more than $20.7 billion to the School Aid Fund.
The Michigan Lottery offers a number of games in different styles of play, including:
- “Scratch-off” games;
- Terminal-based games, where drawings are held to pick winning numbers. These include Mega Millions, Lotto 47 and Powerball;
- Pull-tabs, which are similar to scratch tickets; however, players pull perforated tabs instead of "scratching off" the ticket;
- Online versions of scratch-off games, as well as digital tickets for terminal-based games, available for purchase through the internet.
Lottery tickets are offered to the public through more than 10,000 licensed Michigan Lottery retailers, as well as online at the Michigan Lottery's website.
To play Michigan Lottery scratch games, a player scratches off a ticket; each game consists of different themes, play styles and prize structures. The Lottery averages over 70 new scratch games per year. These games are priced from $1 to $30, with prizes up to $4 million.
Tickets for these games are sold from lottery terminals connected to a central system. Lottery drawings are held to determine the winning numbers. Depending on the lottery game, drawings are held four minutes apart (Club Keno), twice a day (Daily 3 and Daily 4), daily (Fantasy 5 and Keno!) or twice a week (Powerball, Mega Millions, and Classic Lotto 47).
Current draw games
In-house draw games
Daily 3 and Daily 4
Players select either a three- or four-digit number; to win, the player's number must match exactly the number drawn. Optional methods of play allow players to box their numbers; matching the winning number's digits in any order wins a lower payout.
Fantasy 5 + ezMatch
Fantasy 5 began on September 12, 2004, replacing a game called Rolldown. Players select 5 of 39 numbers. Jackpots begin at $100,000 with drawings held daily. Fantasy 5 jackpots increase by a minimum of $5,000 per drawing if there is no top-prize winner. Fantasy 5 results are shown on the nightly version of the Michigan Lottery Show. "ezMatch" is a separate game that can be purchased and played separately from the nightly draw. The game functions as a terminal-based instant game, offering prizes ranging from $2 to $500.
Lotto 47 + ezMatch
Introduced on May 15, 2005, Lotto 47 replaced Winfall. Players pick 6 of 47 numbers. Lotto 47 drawings are held twice weekly with jackpots starting at $1 million. The odds of winning the jackpot are approximately 1 in 11 million. As with Fantasy 5, "ezMatch" is an add-on game to Lotto 47. Prizes offered are identical to those of Fantasy 5's ezmatch.
Unlike Daily 3 & 4 (which draw numbered balls), Keno!, Lotto 47 and Fantasy 5 are drawn using a random number generator (RNG).
In-house Club Games
Added in 2003, Club Games consist of the Club Keno game and pull-tabs, available mostly in social settings, such as bars, restaurants, and bowling centers.
For Club Keno players choose up to 10 numbers out of 80. With results displayed on television sets three and a half minutes apart, the Lottery draws 20 numbers. Wagers are $1 to $20; the top prize is $100,000 for a $1 bet. In 2010, Club Keno was made available to all retailers across the state.
With top prizes ranging from $1,000 to $25,000, pull-tab games are similar to “scratch-off” games. Instead of scratching off a ticket, a player pulls perforated tabs.
Initiated in 1990, Keno! players select 10 numbers out of 80. During the daily drawings, 22 numbers are chosen. A player matching 10 numbers wins $250,000. Players also win money by matching 9, 8, 7, or 6 numbers. There also is a prize for matching zero numbers, which is a $1 scratch ticket (rather than a free Keno! play). Keno! results are available online shortly after each drawing
Lucky for Life
Lucky for Life is a lottery drawing game available in 23 states and the District Of Columbia. Players select 5 numbers from 1-48 and a sixth number from 1-18. Prizes range from $1 to $1,000 per day, every day, for the winner's life.
On September 6, 1996, six lotteries (including Michigan's) began The Big Game. It became Mega Millions six years later. Players select six numbers from two number pools: 5 numbers from 1 through 70, and the Mega Ball number (1 through 25) for a chance to win a multimillion-dollar jackpot. Currently, Mega Millions jackpots begin at $40 million (annuity value), and increases when there is no top prize winner. Drawings are held on Tuesdays and Fridays. Jackpot winners in Michigan, as with most Mega Millions jurisdictions, choose either the annuity (30 annual payments) or the cash option after winning. The Megaplier option, which multiplies a non-jackpot prize by 2, 3, 4, or 5, became available in Michigan in January 2011.
Powerball began in 1992 and Michigan joined in 2010. Players select six numbers from two pools as in Mega Millions: five numbers 1 through 69, and the red Powerball (1-26). Jackpots begin at $40 million annuity. Drawings are Wednesdays and Saturdays.
In August 2014, the Michigan Lottery re-launched its website, giving players the opportunity to buy tickets for some draw games and a host of "virtual" scratch-off games over the internet. Over time, the selection of games has evolved to include nearly all draw-based terminal games (the well-known exceptions are Daily 3 & Daily 4), several different versions of instant Keno games, and many different virtual scratch-off games. Prizes for online games range vary depending on the cost of the ticket purchased, but can be as high as $500,000. In order to purchase these online games, a player must be a Michigan resident, as well as physically present in the state when playing.