'Whos Who' contains short biographies of noteworthy and influential individuals from the worldwide lottery industry -- Click Here


Want to know more than the headlines
Sign-up Now!

Return to Index

is brought to you with the compliments of

The Big Game

Big Game
Game Sales
(in millions)
Game Sales
(in millions)
Georgia 8.19 $215.84 $140.50 -34.91% 17.8%
Illinois 12.42 $219.28 $153.90 -29.82% 19.5%
Maryland 5.3 $71.03 $47.40 -33.27% 6.0%
Massachusetts 6.35 $110.45 $69.50 -37.08% 8.8%
Michigan 9.94 $188.60 $139.00 -26.30% 17.6%
New Jersey 8.41 $299.30 $166.40 -44.40% 21.0%
Virginia 7.08 $96.60 $74.40 -22.98% 9.4%
TOTALS 57.69 $1,201.10 $791.10 -34.14% 100%

FY'01 Lottery
Sales ($m)
Big Game
Sales ($m)
of Total
Lottery sales
Per Capita
B/G Spend
Georgia 8.19 $2,193.80 $140.50 6.40% $17.16
Illinois 12.42 $1,449.80 $153.90 10.62% $12.39
Maryland 5.3 $1,213.30 $47.40 3.91% $8.94
Massachusetts 6.35 $3,916.20 $69.50 1.77% $10.94
Michigan 9.94 $1,620.40 $139.00 8.58% $13.98
New Jersey 8.41 $1,806.70 $166.40 9.21% $19.79
Virginia 7.08 $1,002.80 $74.40 7.42% $10.51
TOTALS 57.69 $13,203.00 $791.10 5.99% $13.71


In 1996 the Michigan Lottery joined with five other state lotteries -- Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts and Virginia -- to form a new multistate lottery game called The Big Game. At the time, the Powerball game had already made a name for itself, offering up giant jackpots sometimes exceeding $40 million.
It didn't take long before The Big Game was offering up giant jackpots of its own. Players in all six states began seeing jackpots at levels they had never seen before -- frequently topping $50 million and eventually reaching almost $200 million for the first time on April 6, 1999. A lucky lady from Boston, Massachusetts was the sole ticket holder for the $197 million Big Game jackpot in the April 6, 1999 drawing.
As the jackpots continued to grow, so did The Big Game itself. Big Game drawings were initially only conducted on Friday evenings. Because the game became popular so quickly, Tuesday evening drawings were added on February 10, 1998 -- giving players two chances per week to win big.
On May 28, 1999, The Big Game saw another significant change when New Jersey joined The Big Game, bringing the number of state lotteries participating in the multi-state game to seven.
May 9, 2000 marked yet another giant milestone for The Big Game when the jackpot reached an all-time record high at a whopping $363 million -- still the largest lottery jackpot ever in North American history! Two lucky winners split that enormous jackpot -- one from Michigan and the other from Illinois.
Larry Ross of Shelby Township was the lucky winner from Michigan who won half of the $363 million jackpot on May 9, 2000. Ross chose to collect his $181.5 million share of the jackpot winnings in a one-time, lump-sum payment for $90.3 million (the estimated present cash value of the jackpot share before taxes). While he holds the distinction of winning the largest jackpot in Michigan Lottery history, there are eight other lucky Big Game jackpot winners from Michigan.
In addition to the nine Big Game jackpot winners in Michigan, 359 Michigan Lottery players hailing from Detroit to Grand Marais have each won the $150,000 second-tier prize in The Big Game. Since The Big Game started in 1996, the Michigan Lottery has sold over 760 million tickets and awarded over $391 million in cash prizes to lucky winners statewide!
The Big Game offers nine ways to win cash prizes ranging from $1 to the jackpot, including a second-tier prize of $150,000 for matching the first five numbers. Big Game tickets are available in Michigan, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Virginia. Wagers cost $1 each and can be purchased at more than 7,000 Michigan Lottery retailers statewide. For more information about The Big Game, you can also visit The Big Game's Web site at: www.theofficialbiggame.com
Big Game drawings are conducted every Tuesday and Friday at 11 p.m. The next Big Game drawing is Friday, September 7 with an estimated jackpot of $7 million. SOURCE: Michigan Lottery.

(For each $1 bet)

  1. Pick five (5) numbers out of the field of fifty (50).
  2. Pick one (1) number, (Your Big Money number), out of the field of twenty-five (25).
  1. For each drawing, five (5) winning numbers out a field of fifty (50) and one (1) winning Big Money Number out of a field of twenty-five (25) will be randomly drawn.
  2. For each $1 bet that you make, match your selections for that bet against those drawn by the Lottery and win as follows:
Your Number matchesOut of One (1)

Out of Five (5)

Big Money Number



5 1 Jackpot** 1 in 76,275,360
5 0 $150,000 1 in 2,179,296
4 1 $5,000 1 in 339,002
4 0 $150 1 in 9,686
3 1 $100 1 in 7,705
3 0 $5 1 in 220
2 1 $5 1 in 538
1 1 $2 1 in 102
0 1 $1 1 in 62

Approximately 50% of the amount of money wagered on each drawing goes into the prize pool.
*Should prize liability exceed available prize pool funds by $50,000,000 or more, second through fifth prizes shall be paid on a parimutuel rather than fixed prize basis. The parimutuel formula is detailed in the Rules and Regulations or Administrative Bulletin issued thereunder.
**The jackpot prize will be paid in twenty (20) equal installments. The jackpot amount will be divided by the number of winning jackpot tickets to determine the prize amount for the holder(s) of each ticket.
Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey and Virginia participate in the lottery.
Big Game Facts & Figures:
  • DRAWINGS: Every Tuesday and Friday at 11:00 p.m. (EST);
  • FIRST DRAWING: September 6, 1996;
  • 7 BIG GAME STATES: Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey and Virginia;
  • PREVIOUS RECORD JACKPOT: $197 million on April 6, 1999 (1 jackpot winner, in MA);
  • LENGTH OF ANNUAL JACKPOT PAYMENTS: 26 years with a Cash Option;
  • NUMBER OF JACKPOT WINNERS TO DATE: VA (2), GA (6), IL (10), MD (4), MI (6), MA (9);
  • BIG GAME SALES TO DATE: $1,741,444,395;
  • PRIZES AWARDED TO DATE: $910,750,740.
Contact Name and Numbers:


Illinois Big Game Winner Claims $110 Million
CHICAGO, Illinois (May 17, 2002) -- Pedro Sotomil, representing the PFK Family Partnership, came forward today to claim their portion of the April 16, $331 million Big Game jackpot. Two other winners, one in Georgia and New Jersey, have already claimed their prizes.
The day after the Big Game drawing, Sotomil’s wife mentioned that she heard the winning ticket had been sold in suburban Burbank. "I thought, ‘Why should it be me?’ But I went out to my car to check anyway," said Sotomil, age 53. At first glance, he said, "I have the last number" (big money ball). Then, he said, "I saw I had ALL the numbers. I couldn’t believe it!"
Today, the Partnership was presented with an oversized, commemorative check for $110 million during a press conference at the Fairmont Hotel in Chicago. "We’re very excited to congratulate the PFK Family Partnership today on winning the second largest jackpot in Illinois history," said Illinois Lottery Director Lori Montana. "Illinois is the most winningest Big Game/Mega Millions state and the PFK Family Partnership is our 23rd grand prize winner."
Sotomil and members of the PFK Family Partnership have been playing the Lottery together for over five years. Sotomil purchased the ticket at Speedway in Burbank. He never spends more than five dollars, because he said, "Five is lucky to me."
Members of the PFK Family Partnership contacted Philip Corboy of the Chicago law firm Corboy & Demetrio to assist in organizing a team of advisers. While the members of the Partnership have no immediate plans for their winnings, a member of their advisory team, Neil Weinberg an attorney of the Chicago law firm Much Shelist said, "Members of the PFK Family Partnership are very excited and are getting sound advice in planning for their future."
The ticket was purchased on April 16, 2002 at Speedway in suburban Burbank. The winner purchased $5.00 in tickets and chose a quick pick. The winning numbers were 7-10-25-26-27 and the Big Money Ball number 23.
Effective Wednesday, May 15, 2002 Mega Millions succeeded the Big Game, which has been played across the country since September 1996. The final drawing for the BIG GAME was held on Tuesday, May 14, 2002 and was worth $19 million. The first Mega Millions drawing will be held today, Friday, May 17, 2002 and is worth an estimated $27 million since there was no winner from Tuesday’s drawing.
Founded in 1974, the Illinois Lottery is a state agency with annual sales of more than $1.5 billion. All Lottery profits are deposited in the state’s Common School Fund to assist K-12 public schools. More Lottery information is available at www.illinoislottery.com
CONTACT: Lisa Miner, +1-312-255-3056, or cell, +1-773-550-1581, or Kellie Houck, +1-312-255-3042, cell, +1-312-933-4903, both of Hill and Knowlton, or Max Montgomery of Illinois Lottery, Office, +1-312-793-3042, cell, +1-217-836- 7024
SOURCE: Illinois Lottery.

Scalpers Cash in on Big Game Excitement
NEW YORK (April 17, 2002) -- Players' were not the only ones hoping to make money on the Big Game lottery, scalpers around the city yesterday were hawking Big Game tickets to people glad to pay double to avoid............. Subscribers

Big Game Drawing Yields Three Winners
ATLANTA, Georgia (April 17, 2002) - Three lucky people are holding winning tickets for the $325 million Big Game jackpot, lottery officials announced Wednesday............. Subscribers

Mega Millions Set to Sweep The Nation May 15
THE MEGA MILLIONS / BIG GAME MEDIA CENTER (April 10, 2002) – The nine member states comprising the BIG GAME Group today announced the launch of Mega Millions, the nation’s newest and most exciting multi-state, mega-jackpot lottery game.
Mega Millions will succeed the BIG GAME, which has been played across the country since September 1996. The final drawing for the BIG GAME will be held on Tuesday, May 14, 2002..............Full story

New Big Game Jackpots Could Hit $500 Million
DETROIT (March 18, 2002) -- officials won't say whether the first set of 50 numbers will grow or whether the new digits will push.................Subscribers

New York Lottery Joins Big Game, Plans Under Way To Develop New Mega-Jackpot Game
SCHENECTADY, NY (December 19, 2001) -- New York Lottery Director Margaret R. DeFrancisco today announced the New York Lottery will work with seven other Lottery jurisdictions that currently comprise the Big Game Group, to develop a brand new multi-jurisdiction mega-jackpot game to build on the success of the Big Game. The Lottery jurisdictions involved in the collaborative development process include Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, and Virginia.
"Our players and retailers have been looking forward to this day for quite some time," said New York Lottery Director Margaret R. DeFrancisco. "We are very pleased that all New Yorkers will have the opportunity to share in the kind of excitement that only a mega-jackpot game can create. The only thing that pleases us more is knowing that the revenue generated from ticket sales in New York will be used to support New York schools." Once fully operational, New York Division of Budget estimates sales from the multi-jurisdiction game will be more than $300 million per year, producing revenues of $145 million or more to support education in New York State.
A draft of an independent market research report indicates 86 percent of current New York Lottery players, who represent more than two-thirds of all New Yorkers, are interested in participating in a multi-jurisdiction, mega-jackpot game. In 1999 and 2000, the New York Lottery featured a limited-time, promotional mega-jackpot game, Millennium Millions, to satisfy requests from New York Lottery players and retailers. The promotional game generated a record-breaking $121 million in sales and $63 million in revenue for schools in six weeks.
Georgia Lottery Corporation President & CEO Rebecca Paul said she was thrilled at the prospect of working not only with New York but all the Big Game Lottery jurisdictions to develop a new mega-jackpot game. "This is an historic moment in the Lottery industry Worldwide," said Paul. "We are coming together as a team to develop the new standard for a multi-jurisdiction Lottery product. We are excited to be a part of this momentous event."
Illinois Lottery Director Lori Montana echoed Paul’s comments. "We are already working on defining the parameters for a new game," said Montana. "We look forward to drawing on New York’s game development expertise to add an extra element of excitement and surprise to the new product."
Maryland State Lottery Executive Director Buddy Roogow said the addition of New York to the Big Game Group "marks the beginning of a great new era in the Lottery industry" and commended New York on the thoroughness of its decision-making process.
The New York Lottery held informational meetings with the jurisdictions representing both Powerball and the Big Game. Director DeFrancisco applauded all concerned for being "gracious, forthcoming and cooperative in providing us with the information needed to make the best decision for New York State."
Massachusetts State Lottery Executive Director Jay Mitchell said he, too, looked forward to working with New York "and being able to share expertise not only in the development and launch phases of the new game, but to ensure its continued marketability in major metropolitan centers and smaller communities across all jurisdictions."
Michigan Bureau of State Lottery Commissioner James Kipp said, "New York shares many of the same views about the current and future state of multi-jurisdiction games," said Kipp. "We’re pleased to have the opportunity to work with them and other Big Game jurisdictions to ensure the future growth and vitality of this and other Lottery games."
New Jersey Lottery Executive Director Virginia Haines said she is very excited to have our neighboring state, New York, join the Big Game. "This partnership will not only be successful for the states involved with the Big Game, but for our lottery players as well."
Virginia Lottery Executive Director Penelope W. Kyle said she welcomed the opportunity "to build a better mega-jackpot lottery game that will garner the interest of all current and prospective lottery players."
She added that Director DeFrancisco's team asked excellent questions during the process. "It was very clear that the New York Lottery staff members put a lot of thought into this decision. We are delighted they chose to be a part of our group."
The new game, which has yet to be named, is expected to be on sale in Spring 2002.
SOURCE: New York Lottery (Website: www.NYLottery.org).
CONTACT: Carolyn Hapeman, Telephone: (518) 388-3415, E-mail: pcr@lottery.state.ny.us

Two Winning Tickets in $115 Million Big Game Jackpot
ATLANTA, Georgia (September 2, 2001) -- There are two jackpot tickets in the latest mega-lottery.
Lottery officials say both of the tickets matching the six winning numbers in last night's Big Game lotto drawing were sold in New Jersey.
Each ticket's worth $57.5 million.
Twenty-six tickets matched five numbers -- they're worth 150-thousand-dollars apiece.
The winning numbers were: four, seven, eight, 12, and 38. The Big Money Ball number was 16.
The Big Game is played in seven states.
Copyright 2001 Associated Press. Used with permission.

Judge Orders Lottery to Release Disputed Jackpot
ATLANTA, Georgia (June 21, 2001) -- A month and a half after 23 airport cabbies won $49 million in a Big Game drawing, a judge in Atlanta ordered the Georgia lottery to pay out the cash, the 'Atlanta Journal-Constitution' reported yesterday.
The newspaper said Fulton Superior Court Judge Alice Bonner issued an order Wednesday that allows the cabbies to proceed with their lawsuits, but directed the Georgia Lottery Corp. to pay out the winnings, which had been sitting in the bank.
The lottery received Judge Bonner's order at 10 a.m., and by 12:45 p.m. the $49.4 million was wired to Sankofa Inc., the corporation the winners created to receive the money. Each of the 23 drivers will receive $2.1 million before taxes. While the May 4 Big Game jackpot was $90 million, the group selected the cash option, which paid substantially less.
SOURCE: Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Taxi Drivers in Court, Still Awaiting Jackpot
ATLANTA, Georgia (June 19, 2001) -- Fulton County Superior Court Judge Alice Bonner held a three-hour hearing on Monday into a dispute involving a $49 million Big Game jackpot.
A handful of taxi drivers have filed three lawsuits saying they participated in a lottery pool with fellow airport drivers but were shut out of the winnings. They've asked the judge to prevent the lottery from paying out the jackpot until a jury can decide who should get a portion of the prize.
The judge heard arguments disputing the winnings, but issued no ruling, telling the packed courtroom she would consider the matter further.
Bonner also told those present that no one involved in the case should contact anyone on the other side, except through their lawyer. And, that anyone not involved in the case should stay out of it.
SOURCE: Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

$46 Million Lottery Winner Finally Surfaces, Winning Ticket in the Mail
By WAYNE PARRY, Associated Press Writer
NEWARK, N.J. (June 15, 2001) - A 40-year-old computer technician collected a $46 million lottery jackpot Friday with a ticket that arrived in the mail at lottery headquarters three days after nearly everyone assumed the money had been forfeited.
Melvin B. Milligan of Passaic took 10 minutes to find the nearly year-old ticket in a junk drawer last week after hearing news reports about how time was running out to claim a big jackpot.
He got the ticket validated at a convenience store computer two days before the one-year deadline of Saturday, June 9. And then, to the astonishment of lottery officials, he entrusted the ticket to the U.S. mail and sent it off to lottery headquarters in Trenton.
It arrived on Tuesday.
``It wasn't even certified or insured mail,'' lottery spokeswoman Annette Jenkins said. ``It's amazing.''
By the time the ticket arrived, lottery officials had already announced that the prize had gone unclaimed and would be forfeited.
Miligan's wife, Kim, smilingly predicted a grim outcome for her husband if the ticket had not been validated in time. ``I guess we'd be out at the jailhouse today,'' she said. ``He'd have been dead.''
The ticket was postmarked June 7, two days before the deadline. But lottery officials said that as long as Milligan validated the ticket at the store by the deadline, he was entitled to the prize - even if the ticket had gotten lost in the mail.
Milligan, who described himself as an occasional lottery player, said he would use his winnings to take care of his family, look for a home and take a cruise somewhere. He refused to say whether he had children.
Milligan said he will take the $46 million in annual installments over 26 years, rather than a $23.7 million lump sum.
``I was in shock for a while and just drove around,'' a beaming Milligan said at a news conference with his 34-year-old wife and acting Gov. Donald DiFrancesco. ``There was an envelope attached to the claim form so I just mailed it in. Somehow, I knew the lottery would get it, and I knew they'd call.''
Milligan's wife wasn't so sure. She said, ``Are you crazy? You mailed it?''' he recalled. ``I said, `Yeah, I mailed it.'''
The ticket for the multistate Big Game lottery was sold at the Krauszer's convenience store in Montvale on June 9, 2000 - the day of the drawing.
If the prize had not been claimed, the money would have gone to New Jersey and the six other states that participate in the game: Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Illinois, Virginia and Georgia.
© The Associated Press. Used with permission.

$90M Big Game Jackpot Dispute Escalates, Winning Syndicate Files Countersuit
ATLANTA, Georgia (May 15, 2001) -- Four members of the $90 million Big Game Jackpot winning syndicate presented the winning ticket to the Georgia Lottery Corp. on Monday. It passed all inspections, but the drivers, who represent a group of 23 airport cabbies who won the seven-state May 4 jackpot, won't see their winnings until they go to court.
That's because a group of 14 cab drivers who also work out of Atlanta's Hartsfield International Airport say they are entitled to a portion of the prize because they at one point played in the lottery pool organized by winner Max Ossei-Wusu.
A Cobb County Superior Court judge ordered the lottery not to pay out the money until a hearing, scheduled for May 25.
"We have a winning ticket, and we'll pay when the court tells us to pay," Georgia Lottery Corp. President Rebecca Paul said Monday.
Ossei-Wusu's lawyer, Ernest Tate, says he has filed a countersuit, seeking $10 million to compensate for damage to his client's reputation and disruption of his family life.
He called the lawsuit against Ossei-Wusu "frivolous and vexatious." At least five plaintiffs have dropped out already, according to court papers filed late last week. Tate added that the winning cabbies want to be compensated for the interest they have lost on their $49.4 million prize because of the lawsuit. While the jackpot was $90 million, the winners chose the cash option, which pays out less.
In the past seven days their winnings would have generated $50,000 at 5 percent interest.
The 23 cabbies formed a limited liability corporation in order to claim the prize.
SOURCE: Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Dispute Erupts Over $90 million Big Game Jackpot
ATLANTA, Georgia (May 9, 2001) -- According to the 'Atlanta Journal-Constitution' a group of 23 taxi drivers working out of Hartsfield International Airport claim to hold the winning ticket in Friday's $90 million Big Game lottery. But the newspaper said 14 other cabbies are crying foul, saying they have been wrongly excluded from the winning pool.
Atlanta attorney Howard Stopeck said today that he has obtained a restraining order preventing the Georgia Lottery Corp. from paying out the prize until the dispute is settled.
Stopeck said Max Ossei-Wasu was the "leader" of the group of taxi drivers --- all from Ghana --- and had been collecting $5 from each of the 37 drivers for several drawings.
Any small winnings were to be used to purchase additional tickets in future drawings for the group.
But last week, Ossei-Wasu only collected money from 23 drivers, refusing to take money from the other 14, Stopeck contends.
"The agreement was it would continue until there was a big winner," Stopeck said today. "(Ossei-Wasu) breached his fiduciary duty to the group itself, so everyone in the group is entitled to a share."
Stopeck said he filed suit in Cobb County Superior Court on Monday, and obtained a temporary restraining order on Tuesday.
Georgia Lottery officials would not comment on the case, but planned a news conference to "discuss the payment of the Big Game jackpot."
Lottery spokeswoman Parquita Nassau said the purchaser of the winning ticket chose the cash option, meaning that instead of a $90 million payout over 26 years, the jackpot would be a one-time payout of $48.5 million.
Split 37 ways, that comes to $1.3 million per person; in a 23-way split, each winner would get $2.1 million.
Stopeck said that his clients are divided on how much each should receive.
None of his clients put $5 into Friday night's drawing, but they have no way of knowing which tickets were purchased with the $5 collected from the 23 other drivers and which were bought with proceeds from the earlier drawings.
"They didn't pay the $5 and we recognize that," Stopeck said. "But they wanted to and they were denied being able to by the person who owed them this fiduciary duty."
Stopeck said there is a lot of "angst" among his clients, some of whom "feel guilty about making a claim without having paid the $5."
He said the two sides have been in discussions, and he is hoping they can resolve the issue out of court, or through mediation.
"People from Ghana are righteous, forthright people," Stopeck said.
"They try their best to resolve these things in a reasonable manner, without having to involve the courts."
Stopeck said he has sympathy for Ossei-Wasu. "I don't have any animosity toward him," he said.
"Some people on the other side believe that the plaintiffs, my clients, are not entitled to 10 cents --- nothing. There are some people who think they are entitled to an equal share. And some people who think somewhere in the middle."
SOURCE: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Georgia Lottery Sells $90 Million Winning Big Game Ticket
GEORGIA (May 6, 2001) -- One ticket sold in Georgia matched all the winning numbers selected in the latest Big Game drawing. Lottery officials said the winning ticket from Friday night's drawing --- worth $90 million --- was sold in Griffin.
In addition to the grand prize winner, eight tickets were sold that matched all five numbers but not the Big Money Ball. Those tickets are worth $150,000 apiece.
Another 66 tickets matched four of the five numbers plus the Big Money Ball. Those tickets are worth $5,000 each.
The winning numbers from Friday night's drawing were: 11, 24, 27, 35 and 47. The Big Money Ball number was 22.
SOURCE: Associated Press. Used with permission.

Michigan Couple Claims $107M Jackpot
By DEE-ANN DURBIN, Associated Press Writer
LANSING, Mich. (February 1, 2001) -- On Thursday morning, Tony and Linda Calliea' s checking account was overdrawn. By afternoon, the Callieas were multimillionaires.
The couple stepped forward Thursday to claim the $107 million jackpot in Tuesday' s multi-state Big Game drawing.
The Callieas' $5 ticket, bought at Mama' s Pizzeria and Party Store in Chesterfield Township, matched all six numbers.
" I' m stunned. I' ve been shaking since yesterday, " Tony Calliea said at Michigan lottery headquarters. " I haven' t eaten. I haven' t slept."
The Callieas play the Big Game regularly but had never won anything except " the plush football from the Doritos bag, " Linda Calliea joked.
She gripped her husband' s hand Thursday as she signed lottery documents. " Don' t let go of me, " she said.
The Callieas chose the lump-sum option, which left them with winnings of $57.7 million before taxes.
Tony Calliea, 39, is a computer technician. Linda Calliea described herself as a " domestic engineer." The Callieas have been married 16 years and have two children, ages 16 and 12.
Tony Calliea took a vacation day to go to the lottery headquarters and hasn' t quit his job. " I haven' t really thought about it. It happened so fast, " he said.
Their eyes welling with tears, the couple said they have no idea how they will spend the money. Their friends shouted " Maui!" and told Tony Calliea that he ought to buy a new truck. Linda had another idea.
" My nieces and nephews and friends' children are going to go to college, " she said.
Big Game tickets are sold in Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey and Virginia.
The odds of getting all six winning numbers are 1 in 76 million.
Copyright 2001 Associated Press. Used with permission.

2nd Big Game Winner Claims Prize
By Martha Irvine
Associated Press Writer

CHICAGO (May 19, 2000) - A suburban family who owns a small brewery has more than enough money to buy drinks all around after stepping forward Friday to claim the other half of last week's record-breaking $363 million lottery jackpot. Joe Kainz, his wife, Sue, and their three sons will take home a lump sum of about $62 million after taxes.
The Tower Lakes couple and their sons, Michael, 34; Patrick, 29; and John, 26 - founded the Wild Onion Brewing Co. in the Chicago suburb of Lake Barrington. They sell their beer at area bars and liquor stores.
The first item on their wish list? ``Honest to God, I want a new roof,'' said Mrs. Kainz, 62.
Her 64-year-old husband said they also plan to pay off debt, take a trip to Ireland, give money to charity and ``have a lot of fun.'' Michael Kainz said he would like to build a state-of-the-art brewery and buy a water ski boat.
The couple said they will keep working at the brewery, which they started four years ago and is on the verge of turning a profit.
``We put this whole thing together with blood, sweat and tears. And there's no way we're going to give that up,'' Mrs. Kainz said. She also said her husband would keep open his medical supply business.
The $363 million prize in the seven-state Big Game drawing May 9 was the biggest lottery jackpot in U.S. history. But the biggest individual payout is still the $197 million awarded last year to a Massachusetts woman.
The Kainz family could have received the full $181.5 million in 26 annual installments but instead elected for a smaller payment up front.
The other half of the jackpot was won by Larry Ross, a swimming pool installer from Shelby Township, Mich., who came forward last week.
The Kainzes said they waited longer to step forward because they needed to talk to lawyers and a financial planner.
Last week, Ross said he did the ``lottery dance'' when he found out he won. Joe Kainz said it was different for him. ``I didn't dance because I don't do that very well. I just ... kind of hobbled around,'' he said.
Kainz, who plays the lottery regularly and had won no more than $3 before this, bought the winning ticket - with the six matching numbers selected by computer - at the Sweeney Oil gas station and convenience store in Lake Zurich. Owner John Sweeney gets a $1.8 million commission.
Kainz called his wife after realizing the numbers matched.
``She said, `You never win anything. That's probably worth a hundred dollars.' And you know, after 40 years of marriage, I believed her,'' he said, laughing.
Before coming forward, the Kainzes entertained themselves by driving down to the convenience store to watch the frenzied reporters who were searching for them. They even spoke - anonymously - with one reporter.
They finally shared the news with their closest friends Tuesday. Mrs. Kainz said she also spent a lot of time talking to her black Labrador.
``I would go by him four or five times a day and say, `Hi, rich dog,''' she said.
The Big Game is played in Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey and Virginia. The odds of matching all six numbers were one in more than 76 million.
Asked if he plans to buy a major brewery such as Budweiser, Joe Kainz laughed and said: ``I've always had a dream. You know, they've got the Clydesdale horses. I want to get a set of dwarf horses and put them on a Red Flyer wagon and haul a keg of beer around.''
On the Net: Big Game: http://www.theofficialbiggame.com
© The Associated Press. Used with permission.

Big Game Lottery Winner Comes Forward By Kathy Barks Hoffman
Associated Press Writer

LANSING, Mich. (May 12, 2000) - A swimming pool installer stepped forward today to claim half of the record $363 million lottery jackpot, saying he put down a $100 bill on the day of the drawing for 98 tickets and a hot dog.
Larry Ross recalled telling his wife he had a winning ticket. Then, he said, ``I invented a new dance - I started doing the lottery dance.''
Ross, with his wife and children standing behind him at a news conference, said he's not a regular lottery player, but his wife had encouraged him to buy some tickets for the Big Game.
When he stopped Tuesday to buy a hot dog at Mr. K's Party Shoppe, in a strip mall near the quiet suburb of Utica, 20 miles north of Detroit, all he had was $100 bill.
``I asked the guy to give me change in lotto tickets,'' he said.
Now, he said, ``I haven't slept in three days. It's a great diet program, win the lotto and lose weight. I haven't eaten in three days.''
Ross, 47, and his wife Nancy, 45, have been married 25 years. They have three children: Ian, 21; Eric, 25; and Shannon, 12.
The Rosses will take their share of the jackpot in a one-time lump-sum payment of about $90 million before taxes. The family plans to give some of the money to charity.
``We're not going to do anything rash. We're going to invest wisely,'' Ross said.
State lottery officials said they were contacted Wednesday by a ``remarkably quite calm'' man they believed held one of the winning tickets.
The other ticket was sold at a gas station in Lake Zurich, Ill., 30 miles northwest of Chicago. That winner has not yet contacted Illinois lottery officials, a spokeswoman said today.
Ross said the family plans to move to a more secure neighborhood somewhere in Michigan.
``You have the ecstasy of winning and then you start realizing the agony of what might happen,'' he said. ``You've got security problems now. You think about your family, who's at risk. We're not in a secure neighborhood. We don't have security like rich people have.''
He said he certainly didn't expect to win, though has some plans on how to spend a little of the money.
``We dream to retire. A new car, a big home. I guess I'd like to start a new job playing golf. And maybe a boat is in our future. We haven't had a summer vacation in 13 years,'' Ross said.
And his wife will get that purple Jaguar she's always wanted, he said.
The drawing Tuesday capped days of frenzy that sent lottery veterans and first-timers alike scurrying for $1 chances at the big dream.
To win, a ticket had to match five numbers plus the Big Money Ball number. There were 72 tickets that matched all five numbers except the Big Money Ball. Each is worth $150,000 before taxes.
The jackpot run resulted in some very impressive sales totals on its way up to the
$363 million record level. March 3 was the last time on which The Big Game jackpot was won, from the March 7 drawing through the May 9 drawing, Big Game ticket sales in all participating states totaled more than $565 million.
The states that participate in the Big Game are Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey and Virginia.
The previous record for a U.S. lottery was a $295.7 million Powerball jackpot split two years ago by 13 machinists in Westerville, Ohio.
The world lottery record is $1.2 billion, set in December by Spain's El Gordo, or the Fat One. But that game awards thousands of prizes.
© Associated Press. Used with permission.

Winner of the $116 million Big Game Drawing Comes Forward
ATLANTA (August 4, 1999) -- There was one big winner in last night's multi-state Big Game lottery, but they're not from New Jersey or New York. The winning ticket was bought in Georgia.
The winner, Randy Kerfoot from East Ridge Tennessee, will be able to bank about $39 million. He had chosen the cash option on his Quik Pick ticket, so his lump-sum winnings came to about $59 million, or $38.9 million after taxes.
Georgia Lottery Corp. officials said it was the largest payout to a single winner since the state lottery began in 1993.
The Big Game is played in seven states: Massachusetts, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Virginia and New Jersey.
Kerfoot bought his ticket at the Mr. Zip convenience store in Rossville, Ga., just across the state line from Chattanooga. The retailer earns a $25,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket.
SOURCE: Associated Press

Michigan Lottery Welcomes New Jersey to The Big Game!
LANSING, Mich., May 25, 1999 -- On the heels of the record-setting $197 million jackpot last month, The Big Game adds another page to its history books with the addition of New Jersey as a Big Game state. The Garden State begins ticket sales tomorrow, just in time for Friday's (May 28) drawing!
The addition of New Jersey brings to seven the number of participating Big Game states. Current states include: Michigan, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts and Virginia.
``This is great news for Big Game fans here in Michigan and throughout the country,'' said Michigan Lottery Commissioner Don Gilmer. ``It means more access for those who'd like to try their luck with The Big Game, and will likely mean higher jackpots that roll more quickly because the population base is that much larger. ``We extend a warm welcome to New Jersey Lottery staff and players and look forward to lots of winning!''

Big Game Lottery's New Jersey Debut
New Jersey, Trenton (May 27, 1999) – Local newspapers and wire services are reporting conflicting stories surrounding the introduction of the "Big Game".
The States News Service report New Jersey Lottery officials saying that, sales were brisk on the state's first day in the Big Game with some lottery outlets reporting five times the usual number of tickets being sold.
However, the Bergen Record reports that the debut of the Big Game went off without much fanfare on Wednesday, with many lottery players and merchants opting to instead play and plug the local Pick Six game. The local game had a jackpot of $18 million, more than triple the potential purse of the interstate Big Game.
The newspaper said the announcement that the $60 million Jackpot had already been won by a ticket sold in Maryland had hurt first day sales in New Jersey.
With an early-week winner, Friday's jackpot, the first to include New Jersey, recycled to a paltry $5 million.
If no one wins the Big Game drawing on Friday, the purse will roll over and continue to build for a drawing on Tuesday.
The odds of winning the top prize for the Big Game are 1-in-76 million, compared to odds of 9 million to one for Pick Six. Players choose five numbers from a pool of 50 and one number, the Big Money Ball from a pool of 36. To win the top prize, all six numbers on the $1 ticket must be matched.
Players also can win by matching one, two, three, four, or five numbers. The odds of winning drop considerably, but so do the purses, which start at $1 for matching just the Big Money Ball.
Payouts for the Big Game start at $5 million and can escalate to more than $250 million. Players can choose a cash option or have the money paid in 26 annual installments.
The average purse is $35 million, with profits going to fund school building projects. The Garden State joins Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Virginia in sponsoring the lottery. The largest jackpot ever won by one person is $197 million, and it went to a woman in Massachusetts last month who played the Big Game.
SOURCE: State News Service and The Bergen Record


This site is optimized for Explorer 4.0 & above and a monitor resolution of 1280 x 1024.
Please adjust your screen accordingly.
Interplay Multimedia Pty. Ltd.disclaims all liability for information provided within Lottery Insider.
Data supplied by named sources.
Associated Press content is Copyrighted by The Associated Press.
All other news articles are owned by their respective publishers.