Like many state-based lotteries, the Michigan Lottery has now been running for almost five decades since it was initiated under the Public Act 239 back in the early 1970s as a means to support the public school system in the region.
Hermus Millsaps was the first winner, scooping a $1m prize in 1973 in the main draw, and the first instant game followed just over three years later. The rich tradition of lottery games continues in Michigan today, where its online lottery states are now forging a new path for the future of lotto, not only for the state but also for the US as a whole.
The Michigan Lottery relaunched its digital platform in August 2014 with new virtual scratch-off games that appeal to a new generation of younger players and an online ticketing feature for some of its main draw games. The mix of the old and new was aimed at bringing its traditional games to a larger audience and creating new ways to drive revenue.
Since its launch, Michigan’s online lottery system has evolved considerably, and it now offers a plethora of draw-based terminal games in addition to a variety of keno games, which is a casino game that requires players to choose up to 10 numbers from a table with numbers ranging from 1 to 80. Similar to UK bingo, online keno has been a success.
The online lottery system is also paying out huge sums of money, with jackpots and winnings of up to $500,000 depending on the type of game and cost of entry.
Michigan Lottery spokesperson Jeff Holyfield believes that the new sites have helped to cater to new demands from consumers for exciting casino games that don’t require players to venture to brick-and-mortar businesses.
He said: “Our players, especially our younger players, more and more, they want to interact with us over the Internet, and it’s really one of those things … You only have to look at the music business to see how the marketplace has changed.”
Future of lotto
Recognizing the shift to on-demand, digital consumption has enabled the Michigan Lottery to not only remain relevant but also showcase how online sites are the future of lottery in the US.
This has been backed up by an uptick in revenue. The website attracted half a million users just two years after it launched, and it created $48m for the state in just a single year in 2016. Greater accessibility has led to a notable increase in players, which increased the amount of money generated for good causes as a result.
Holyfield recently noted that the lottery deploys “a variety of promotions” to keep its existing player base engaged and attract new players over time. This promotion, when coupled with the improvements to online games, drives incremental growth and supports long-term success while acting as a case study for why online lotto is the way forward for general gaming.
Another reason why Michigan’s online lottery sites are the future is the way that they bring together the ‘full’ lottery experience from a single hub. Players can access more than 50 games, including the traditional Mega Millions and Powerball draws, and they can do so from a laptop at home or via a smartphone.
The high-quality software and graphics that are central to the online gaming experience are also up to the standard that modern gamers expect, as are the deposit methods. Users aged 18 and over and with ID can register and deposit funds using a credit card, debit card, PayPal, ACH bank transfer or online game card.
Ticket prices are the same as when a player visits a retailer to make a purchase, and winnings can be accessed and quickly used again to play more games for significant prize pools. Players who have experienced Michigan’s convenient, feature-rich and exciting online lottery site may find it difficult to go back to traditional lottery games. Online-gambling.com goes into detail about Michigan online lottery sites and what they have to offer.
In the US, the lottery culture has been deeply embedded into society. The average American spends around $223 every year on the lottery and is willing to spend more in games when the payout rises. Big jackpots bring more players. Michigan’s online lottery sites not only continue that tradition but also bring newer, exciting ways to play in a world where US households now have an average of 11 connected devices.
Holyfield says that the online lottery will always be there to “provide fun and entertainment” and give residents the chance to win potentially life-changing sums of money.