Montana Millionaire tickets sell out in 6 days

Posted at 8:43 AM, Nov 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-08 10:43:10-05

Tickets for the Montana Millionaire drawing sold out in six days, starting Monday and finishing at 4 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.

Stores around Montana sold 250,000 tickets in record time.

Some of the excitement could be seen in Billings, with an instant $500 winner at McFiny's.

"So he bought two tickets," said Matt Pederson, a McFiny's employee. "One of them was just a regular $20 and then one was a $500 winner, but he gets to hold on to both of those tickets. And then it prints out another little smaller slip that says your amount, $100 or $500. They handed out even more of those this year as well of both of those winning amounts."

McFiny's on 17th Street West and Avenue C has been the place for big winners in past lotteries.

"Incredibly busy," Pederson said. "McFiny's has actually won two of the million-dollar tickets out of here in the past years. So we have people show up from Kalispell, we have people show up from Missoula, like Wyoming, all over the place, come buy them like in this store."

The excitement has increased for customers this year.

"Well, it might be because a lot of people were off work for so long," said Joe Stricker, a customer at McFiny's.

"The word around Billings kind of goes out that McFiny's is pretty popular for big hits," said McFiny's customer Matt Kurtz. "And last year I came. I get them for stocking stuffers and trying to win myself."

"Probably two chances to win, so I think that's the reason why everybody's like wanting to go get them," said Lynelle Bixby, who along with her husband bought tickets at McFiny's.

"We weren't expecting it to go so quick," said Jennifer McKee, Montana Lottery communications manager. "It's got to be a combination of lots of things. The game sold 600% above where it was in past in the year before beginning on day one."

Poly Food Basket prints out periodic reports on millionaire sales.

"It's going so much faster than I've ever seen it before," said Sage D'Ambrosia, a manager at Poly Food Basket. "You know, typically if you were to sell somebody like five or ten tickets all in one batch, there's one or two of them that'll be sequential with each other, like 58 and 59. This year we've been seeing four or five and six apart from each other and today we've had as many as 12 numbers apart from each other."

"I just always wish and dream," Bixby said.

"And I think just right now with everything going on, there's a lot of people looking for the winning ticket," Kurtz said.

Two early bird drawings are schedueld, $25,000 on Nov. 25 and $15,000 on Dec. 17.

McKee said the drawing dates have yet to be determined for the two $1 million dollar prizes.