Mass Lottery to introduce its first $50 instant ticket

Calvani: Lynn’s players await new product

Special to the Journal

The Massachusetts State Lottery will soon be introducing its first $50 instant “scratch” ticket. Billion Dollar Extravaganza will offer over $1 billion in total winnings and feature the largest instant win prize in Mass Lottery history, $25 million.

The Billion Dollar Extravaganza ticket, scheduled to go on sale Tuesday, February 7, 2023, includes three $25 million prizes, five $2 million prizes and 15 $1 million prizes. With an overall prize payout of 82.0 percent, Billion Dollar Extravaganza will deliver the highest payout percentage of any game ever offered by the Mass Lottery. The odds of winning a prize in the new game are 1 in 4.10.

“As the Lottery’s 50th anniversary celebration approaches the end, what better time to introduce the $50 ticket to begin our next 50 years!” said State Treasurer Deborah B. Goldberg, Chair of the Massachusetts State Lottery Commission. “Our customers had been requesting this ticket for some time. After careful consideration, the Lottery has what we believe will provide them with the entirely new level of excitement they have been seeking.”

Excitement builds in Lynn

Barry Calvani, the 54-year-old owner of Cal’s News Store, said his customers are excited about the new $50 instant ticket.

“There’s definitely a lot of anticipation for the Lottery’s new product,” said Calvani. “They’ve talked about a $50 ticket for a long time, and I think the Lottery is pretty comfortable with the product they’ve set forward. As usual, the Lottery is being innovative. They’ll have the largest prize ($25 million) in the history of instant tickets. People will buy them. The advent of the $50 ticket is going to be a shot in the arm for all the retailers. It’s exciting for the players. The Lottery is putting its dukes up to go head-to-head with sports wagering.”

Calvani’s store is one of the original six Lottery agents in Massachusetts, beginning in-store sales in 1972 when the Mass Lottery began.

“My grandfather (Ralph Calvani) started selling newspapers at this location in 1937, the same year that Anthony Athanas opened the Hawthorne restaurant right next door,” related Calvani.

Calvani has two daughters, Breanna, a graduate of St. John’s University, who works for a marketing firm in Charlestown, and Caitlin, a senior at Endicott College, who is pursuing a career in nursing.

“I’m very proud of both of them,” said Barry.

Ticket sales expected to

exceed $1.5 billion

With a print run of 30.2 million tickets, sales from the new $50 Billion Dollar Extravaganza game are expected to exceed $1.5 billion, giving it the potential to generate over $150 million in net profit. Lottery profits are returned to all 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts in the form of unrestricted local aid.

The highest-priced instant ticket currently available in Massachusetts is $30, a price point that was introduced in 2014. Massachusetts will join more than a dozen other U.S. lotteries in offering a $50 ticket.

“Billion Dollar Extravaganza is the result of extensive research and testing over the course of several years,” said Mark William Bracken, Interim Executive Director of the Mass Lottery. “With an unprecedented top prize of $25 million and a number of ‘best ever’ features, this ticket gives customers a value consistent with its price point.”

Billion Dollar Extravaganza presents its players with the best chance to win $500 and $1,000 prizes in Mass Lottery history, and all winning tickets total $100 or more. Each ticket in this key number match style game contains 10 “Winning Numbers” and 35 “Your Numbers.” If one or more of the “Your Numbers” match the “Winning Numbers,” the player wins the corresponding amount. There are also multiplier symbols ranging from 5X to 500X in the “Your Numbers” spots that multiply winning combinations. Three Bonus spots give players the opportunity to automatically win $100, $500 or $1,000.

The game will feature 10 second chance drawings, allowing players to enter non-winning tickets for opportunities to win cash prizes ranging from $100 to $50,000. In each of the 10 drawings, 15 $50,000 prizes, 10 $1,000 prizes, 75 $500 prizes, and 300 $100 prizes will be awarded.

The Mass Lottery introduced the world’s first instant ticket product, a $1 ticket named The Instant Game, in May of 1974 – a move that revolutionized the industry and established Massachusetts as a lottery innovator.

Since selling its first ticket on March 22, 1972, the Mass Lottery has generated over $143 billion in revenues, awarded over $100 billion in prizes, returned over $31 billion in net profit to the Commonwealth for unrestricted local aid, and paid over $8 billion in commissions and bonuses to its statewide network of retailers.

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