GREAT FALLS — The Montana Lottery has announced where two winning million-dollar tickets were sold. The winning "Montana Millionaire" tickets were announced on Tuesday, December 27, 2021.
Ticket # 233771 was sold at the Cenex Zip Trip #73 in Butte.
Ticket # 100451 was sold at Fast Trip in Missoula.
Tickets for the Montana Millionaire drawing sold out in a record-setting six days - sales started on Monday, November 1, and the last of the 250,000 tickets was sold on Saturday, November 6. Tickets were $20 each, and were sold at most convenience stores, gas stations, and grocery stores.
This year, for the first time, the event featured two grand prizes, instead of just one million-dollar prize.
There were also two "early bird" tickets announced recently. On November 26, Montana Lottery announced that ticket number 200154, sold in Billings, had been drawn for a $25,000 prize. On December 17, the agency announced that ticket number 115161, also sold in Billings, had been drawn for a $15,000 prize.
In addition, there were thousands of "instant winner" tickets worth up to $500.
Where have grand-prize winning tickets been sold in years past?
- Butte: 4 (2021, 2020, 2017, 2008)
- Billings: 4 (2018, 2011, 2010, 2007)
- Columbia Falls: 2 (2019, 2013)
- Great Falls: 2 (2016, 2009)
- Missoula: 1 (2021)
- Winnett: 1 (2015)
- East Helena: 1 (2014)
- Laurel: 1 (2012)
Previous winners of the Montana Millionaire grand prize:
- 2020: Megan Thorstenson, Butte
- 2019: Casey Petero, Columbia Falls
- 2018: Richard Mai, Billings
- 2017: Amy Lambert, Butte
- 2016: Daniel Thompson, Great Falls
- 2015: Jack Barisich, Winnett
- 2014: Jeffrey Fallang, East Helena
- 2013: Russell Miller, Columbia Falls
- 2012: Sam Polesky, Laurel
- 2011: Vern & Mara Wallace, Billings
- 2010: William Morse, Billings
- 2009: Dana Delguerra, Great Falls
- 2008: Mike & Carole McGivern, Butte
- 2007: Gary & BJ Klipstein, Billings
Some people have noted that the amount of money taken in from Montana Millionaire ticket sales does not equal the amount paid out, mistakenly believing that because it is a "raffle" rather than a "ball lottery," all of the money is paid out.
Montana Lottery spokesperson Jennifer McKee explained in an email to MTN News:
The Montana Millionaire game is a classic raffle, however; raffle doesn’t mean that all the money is paid out to winners. A raffle is a style of game in which a set number tickets are sold chronologically. The winner or winners is drawn only from the tickets sold. This means there will ALWAYS be a winner in a raffle. It isn’t possible for the winning number in Montana Millionaire to be a number that someone didn’t buy because we only pull from the pool of purchased numbers. This also means that the prize amount is not dependent on the number of tickets sold. The prize is fixed at the beginning. It’s possible in a raffle for the offerer to actually lose money. If not enough tickets are sold to cover the cost of the prizes, a raffle game nets no additional money. That’s a raffle.
A ball game – sometimes called a line game in lottery vernacular – operates like Powerball. Players buy a set of numbers that are either randomly selected or chosen by them. Then a set of numbered balls – or a certified random number generator – produces a set of winning numbers. But those winning numbers are randomly produced and there only a winner if someone bought the same set of numbers. This means is not only possible, but in some cases likely that a drawing won’t produce a winner. This is how ball game jackpots “roll.” If there’s no winner, the jackpot increases because the amount of money in the game grows each time. That’s a ball game.