Time to celebrate the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009. Lottery offices will be closed for the holiday on Jan. 1. The Missouri Lottery hopes last year was good to you, and that the next will be even better. Here's wishing you good fortune in 2009. Thanks for reading, and be careful out there.
There are still plenty of holiday Scratchers tickets on the street and that means there are plenty of tickets
to enter in the second-chance promotion "Holiday in Hawaii." Win a trip for four to Hawaii, a $1,000 shopping spree or $300 worth of Missouri Lottery Scratchers tickets. Use $10 worth of eligible non-winning Scratchers tickets to enter. The final deadline is Jan. 6, so make sure to get them in the mail a few days early. If you are dropping them off or entering online, you will have until 5 p.m. on Jan. 6. Don't miss your chance for a "Holiday in Hawaii," from the Missouri Lottery!
Are you a My Lottery member? If not, you really should consider signing up for a free account. Perks include a free birthday coupon, saving postage when entering promotions and signing up for winning numbers e-mails, text-message jackpot alerts, or combinations of the above. During the months of January and February, there will be special promotions for My Lottery members, including trips to Monster Truck and Bull Riding events in St. Louis and Kansas City. Prize packages include tickets for four, event merchandise and a debit card to help pay for a special night on the town - and only My Lottery members are eligible to win. Visit Molottery.com and follow the links for more information.
We're still trying to catch up from the holiday. Here's the rundown of big winners going back to just before Christmas. A player hit $9,000 on Club Keno last week at Jamey's Private Club in Jefferson City. Someone matched five white-ball numbers in Powerball on Dec. 24. That winning ticket was sold at Schnucks on New Halls Ferry Road in Florissant. Four other players matched four white-ball numbers and the Powerball to win $10,000 during the last two Powerball drawings. Those tickets were sold at the following locations:
The Jug Store in Pineville
Dierbergs on Lemay Ferry in St. Louis
Bryan Road BP in O'Fallon
K's Kwik Korner in St. Clair
Congratulations to all the winners. The Powerball jackpot for Dec. 31 is an estimated $80 million, and the Show Me Cash jackpot for tonight is an estimated $198,000. That would make for a happy new year!
The Missouri Lottery wants to wish you a safe and happy holiday season. Offices will be closed on Dec. 25 and 26 so that our employees can celebrate Christmas with their families. We hope that you will also get to spend time with loved ones. If you get an itch that you want to scratch over the next couple of days, there are thousands of Missouri Lottery retail locations that will be open to serve your needs. We appreciate the hard-working clerks who sell our products, and in addition to our thanks, we ask you to keep them in your thoughts when you see them behind the counter over the holiday. Thanks for reading, and thanks for helping us generate funds for public education. Best wishes and good luck.
The first 50,000 Million Dollar Raffle tickets have been sold. There's less than a month left to get your best chance to win $1 million! Good luck. (In the event that MDR does not sell the allotment of tickets, the drawing date may be extended.)
Remember Luckytown? It's the magical place all Missouri Lottery players go when they play the Lottery, where everyone is a winner. We haven't talked much about Luckytown lately, but we'd like to know what you think of it. There's a poll along the sidebar and be sure to leave your comments below.
Pick 3 players will know that we had trips over the weekend. Saturday's Midday winning combination was 999. We had three players getting an early Christmas present in the St. Louis area. Each matched four white-ball numbers and the Powerball in Saturday's drawing to win $10,000. Those tickets were sold at the following locations:
Schnucks on Civic Center Dr. in Lake St. Louis
QuikTrip on Hanley Road in Berkeley
Double D Market in Defiance
Looks like the Highway DD location is becoming a lucky spot. One of our Mega Scratchers winners won at that location. The Powerball jackpot rolled again. The estimated jackpot for Christmas Eve is $62 million. Wouldn't that be a fun present?
The Missouri Lottery maintains a professional work atmosphere, so employees get pretty pumped when given the opportunity to wear jeans. Our Executive Director decided that he would declare December Friday's "Jeans Day" with a small donation to a local food bank. It was a win/win opportunity. Lottery employees donated 694 food items and $16 in cash over the last three Fridays. We delivered the goods to the local Samaritan Center today.
I've had a couple of questions about how our promotional drawings work. Donald wanted to know if we used a flock of geese. Good suggestion, but we're slightly more scientific. Ms. Sugar had a few other points. I just wanted to write in and say that I don't agree with the way the promotions are drawn. I read where they pull a certain % from email entries and a certain% from mail or drop off entries to go in the final draw. I think it should be entry for entry. Some people may enter 30 - 50 $10 entries by mail and not be chosen for the final drawing while someone else might just mail in or drop off 3 or 4 entries and make it in for the final drawing. What she is describing is the miracle of random drawings. Every entry has exactly the same chance of winning. Someone who enters several times has better odds of being selected, but the person who just sends one can still be a winner. Isn't that great? In our most recent drawing for the "Holiday in Hawaii" promotion, there were more than 159,000 entries. That's a lot. The mail entries alone fill seven 55 gallon drums. For reference, if a player had 100 entries, one of every 1600 would be theirs, but the chances of being selected are still less than one percent. As you can imagine, that's an awful lot of entries to handle in a single drawing, so here's what we do to make it manageable and keep it fair for everyone. We conduct a pre-drawing to cut the room full of entries down to a manageable percentage. For that drawing, we select a number from both the mail-in/drop-off and My Lottery entries proportional to the number of entered through each method. We do this so that no matter which way players choose to enter, the final drawing accurately represents the overall population of entries. For instance, in the last drawing, 73 percent of the total entries were made online through My Lottery. So we drew a percentage of those entries and combined them with a percentage of the mail entries so that our actual drawing had a similar percentage of overall entries - 73 percent online, 27 percent mail entries. We then take that group of entries from the pre-drawing (and make physical envelopes for the online percentage) and combine them in a mixing drum. A blindfolded employee selects the winners. Through the entire process, each entry has the exact same odds of being selected as a winner.