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Since 1972, the Michigan Lottery has been a major source of income for The Great Lakes State, with funds received directly supporting Michigan’s public school system. Located at 101 E Hillsdale St in Lansing, MI, the Michigan Lottery also has been a major source of jobs for the state, providing economic opportunities for both sides of the financials.

Offering a variety of products and services, including scratch-off games, terminal-based games, pull-tabs, draw games, and most recently, online games, the Michigan Lottery is one of the most robust lottery systems in the country today. Let’s take a closer look at everything you need to know about the Michigan Lottery in this MIBetting.com exclusive. 

The Michigan Lottery explained

Founded in 1972, the first Michigan Lottery game started on November 13, 1972, with the Green Ticket game being the first game to market. On February 22, 1973, Hermus Millsaps of Taylor, MI became the first resident in the lottery’s history to win a $1 million prize.

Initially just offering draw games, which are games where players pick numbers and winning numbers are randomly selected, in 1975 the Michigan Lottery began offering instant games. On October 7, 1975, the first instant game ticket was purchased, as the scratch-off ticket market began to take hold in the state.

Next up for the Michigan Lottery were terminal-based games, which went live on June 6, 1977, with the Daily 3 being the first game introduced. The first state-specific game, the Michigan Lotto, was rolled out in August of 1984. By 1996, the Michigan Lottery began participating in cross-state lottery games, with the first The Big Game (Mega Millions, today) ticket being sold on August 31, 1996. 

Things were brought into the 21st century in August 2014, as the Michigan Lottery began offering its products online. From day one, Michigan players could buy draw game tickets and “virtual” scratch-off games directly from the MI Lottery website. In the time since, things have evolved even further, as now players can purchase all of their favorite Michigan Lottery games directly online or from their MI Lottery mobile app.

From the first days of the Michigan Lottery, proceeds were collected to directly contribute to the state’s public education system via the School Aid Fund. To date, more than $27 billion has been donated to the fund, making the lottery a major source of income for the state every year. Funds received by Michigan’s School Aid Fund directly contribute to educational initiatives and programs throughout the state, ranging from kindergarten through university.

Can you play the Michigan Lottery online?

Yes, beginning in 2010 and revamping in August 2014, Michigan Lottery players have been able to play the Michigan Lottery online. At first, players could only purchase select draw games and digital scratch-off tickets via the website. 

In the years that would follow, hover, the selection of games available for purchase online has evolved, with almost all draw-based terminal games, Keno games, a plethora of online scratch-offs, and cross-state draw games now available for purchase on the Michigan Lottery online site. In order to participate in the Michigan Lottery online, players must be residents of Michigan and be physically present in the state. 

Thanks to the regulation provided by the Michigan Gaming Control Board, players have a variety of options when it comes to deposit funds. To withdraw funds, Michigan players must provide a color copy of their driver’s license and a copy of a voided check.

In recent years, the Michigan Lottery also launched a mobile app for iOS and Android devices, making its audience even broader and more accessible. On the app, players can purchase tickets, play their favorite online scratch-off games, and even scan their physical tickets to see if they are winners or not. The move to a mobile app also brought the Michigan Lottery to a younger demographic, increasing engagement and convenience for players across the state in the process.

History of the Michigan Lottery

With a history that dates back more than 50 years, the history of the Michigan Lottery is a long and storied one. Let’s take a closer look at how we got to the Michigan Lottery today.

  • 1972: Established as part of Public Act 239, the Michigan Lottery was launched on August 1, 1972. The Green Ticket was the first game to launch for the Michigan Lottery later that year.
  • 1975: The first weekly draw game of the Michigan Lottery, the Michigan Lotto, was introduced.
  • 1984: Joining the multi-state lottery which included games such as the Powerball and (later) Mega Millions, Michigan joined “Lotto America” making it the first national lottery game offered by the Michigan Lottery
  • 1996: One of the biggest games in the national lottery system, “The Big Game” was launched with Michigan being one of the first states to participate. The Big Game would later become the modern-day Mega Millions, one of the most well-known and biggest lottery draw games in the country.
  • 2003: The popular casino game Keno launched a lottery-type game in the state with the introduction of Club Keno. This game offered players a new form of live game, with Michigan-specific Keno games being offered every week.
  • 2004: The Michigan Lottery began offering the Fantasy 5 game on September 12, 2004, replacing an older game called “Rolldown.” Becoming one of the first terminal-based instant games, prizes would range from $2 to $500.
  • 2005: Beginning on May 15, 2005, the Michigan Lottery began offering Lotto 47, which replaced the Winfall. In the game, players would pick six numbers from 1 to 47, with drawings held twice per week and jackpot prizes beginning at $1 million.
  • 2010: For the first time, the Michigan Lottery Website began offering their popular Daily 3 and Daily 4 draw games online, marking the first time the lottery would offer its services over the internet.
  • 2014: Following the success of the Daily 3 and Daily 4 online, the Michigan Lottery revamped its website to start selling nearly all of its tickets online. This move not only expanded the reach and accessibility of their services but increased the revenue generated by the MI Lottery significantly.
  • 2018: The increasingly popular national multi-state draw game “Lucky for Life” debuted in the Michigan Lottery offerings, instantly becoming a major hit for Michigan Lottery players across The Great Lakes State.
  • 2020: As seen in state lotteries across the country, the COVID-19 pandemic saw the Michigan Lottery’s online presence rapidly expand, as players began to prefer using the website and mobile applications to get in on the action.

Claiming Michigan Lottery winnings

The Michigan Lottery regulating body has made it easy to claim winnings for players lucky enough to have a winning ticket. In three short steps, let’s take a closer look at the process involved in claiming Michigan Lottery winnings today.

  1. Confirm Your Winning Ticket: If you purchased your Michigan Lottery ticket online or via the mobile app, log in to your account to verify you have a winning ticket. If you purchased a physical ticket, you can use the Michigan Lottery mobile app to scan the barcode to see if you have a winner.
  2. Figure Out Prize Amount: Once you’ve established you have a winner, the next step is to determine the prize amount you’ve won. If the winnings are $600 or less, you can claim your winnings at any authorized Michigan Lottery retail location, such as a gas station or grocery store.
  3. Mail-In Your Ticket or Visit Claim Center: If your Michigan Lottery ticket winnings are more than $500, there are a few more steps involved for claiming them. You have two options; visiting a Michigan Lottery Claim Center, or sending your ticket via mail to the Michigan Lottery. For either, you will need to provide a valid driver’s license or passport, a Social Security Card, and the winning ticket with your signature on the back. For large winnings, there are more steps involved, and processing time can vary based on the amount won and the type of winning ticket.

Can I claim MI Lottery winnings online?

Yes, tickets purchased on the MI Lottery website that are winners of less than $600 will automatically be deposited into your account. For MI Lottery winnings ranging from $600 to $99,999, you can claim them online through your MI Lottery account but involves a more complicated process that includes verifying your identity and completing tax forms.

Once those are approved, however, those funds will also be credited to your account. If you are fortunate enough to win prizes of more than $100,000, those must be claimed in person at an MI Lottery office. As a reminder, you also use the MI Lottery mobile app to scan tickets you believe to be winners

Cross-state lottery draw games you can play in Michigan

Since 1985, Michigan Lottery players have been able to participate in cross-state lottery draw games. Let’s take a look at the biggest cross-state lottery draw games you can play in Michigan today.

  • Powerball: One of the most popular lottery games across the country, offered in all states that have a lottery, the Powerball has drawings twice a week on Wednesdays and Saturdays. At a cost of $2 per ticket, the jackpot for each drawing begins at $40 million.
  • Mega Millions: The next biggest cross-state lottery draw game is Mega Millions, which also has two drawings a week, Tuesdays and Fridays. Like the Powerball, tickets are $2, jackpots begin around the $40 million mark. Also like Powerball, every drawing that has no winner, rolls the jackpot into the next one, with jackpots regularly above the $100 million mark and higher.
  • Lucky for Life: Lucky for Life is another one of the most popular cross-state draw games in the country, also coming in with a ticket price of $2. With drawings on Mondays and Thursdays, Lucky for Life top prizes are $1,000 a day for life.
  • Lotto America: One of the lesser-known but still quality cross-state draw games is Lotto America. With tickets priced at $1, the game has three weekly drawings on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Sundays.

Michigan-specific draw games you can play

While the national cross-state lottery games discussed above offer the biggest jackpots, there are also a host of Michigan-specific draw games you can play. Let’s take a look at a few of the most popular Michigan-specific draw games you can play today.

  • Lotto 47: One of the oldest Michigan-specific draw games, Lotto 47 requires players to pick six numbers from 1 to 47. Drawings take place twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays. To win you must match all six numbers, with jackpots starting at $1 million.
  • Fantasy 5: Another popular Michigan-specific draw game is Fantasy 5, which requires players to pick five numbers from 1 to 39. With drawings every day, jackpots start at no less than $100,000 and increase until there is a winner.
  • Daily 3 and Daily 4: A more straightforward Michigan-specific draw game, players pick three or four numbers, and have multiple ways of winning. Drawings for both games happen twice per day, giving players many chances to win each week.
  • Keno: Keno is a game that requires players to pick up to 10 numbers from a possible 80, with drawers happening throughout each week. Keno offers players the ability to win instantly, and the jackpot varies based on the amount of numbers matched.
  • Poker Lotto: An increasingly popular Michigan-specific draw game is Poker Lotto, which combines draw games and instant win games, with a poker twist. In Poker Lotto, each ticket has a set of cards, which if they form a winning poker hand, presents an instant win. Prizes vary based on the poker hand you draw, with the best hands producing the biggest payouts.

Instant win lottery games in MI

Unlike draw games which require you to wait on weekly (or daily) drawings from the Michigan Lottery, instant win lottery games show you immediately if you are a winner. Also known as scratch-off tickets, let’s take a look at the instant win lottery games in MI available for purchase today.

  • Digital Scratch-Offs: Seeing an explosion in growth and popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic, digital scratch-offs can be purchased directly from the MI Lottery website or mobile app. Popular games include Pot O’Gold and Cashword, and require players to match symbols or amounts to win prizes.
  • Instant Keno: A lottery-style game that is also available in Michigan Casinos, instant Keno requires players to pick numbers, after which they’ll instantly see if they have won based on a random draw.
  • Themed Instant Win Games: Anything from nature, adventures, to sports can be a theme on some instant win games, offering players a unique gaming experience. Each game has different bonus games or features, making playing them an enjoyable experience for all.

Where do I purchase lottery tickets in MI?

Since their inception in 1972, the Michigan Lottery has constantly been evolving and growing the number of places you can buy their tickets. Let’s take a look at a few of the most common places you can purchase lottery tickets in MI.

  • Online: Using either the MI Lottery website or mobile app, players can purchase lottery tickets in MI directly online. You must register for an account, which requires you to be a Michigan resident, and physically be located inside state lines.
  • Gas Stations and Convenience Stores: As part of the more than 10,000 Michigan Lottery retailers, players can purchase lottery tickets in MI at most gas stations and convenience stores. Just visit the Michigan Lottery’s website or mobile app to find the closest retail location near you.
  • Grocery Stores: Just like most gas stations and convenience stores, many of the grocery stores in Michigan are also Michigan Lottery-authorized retailers. Head to the front near where they sell tobacco products to purchase your lottery ticket in MI today.

Famous MI Jackpot winners

With a history going back more than 50 years, there have been some big MI jackpot winners over their history. Let’s take a look at the top three most famous MI jackpot winners since its inception.

  • August 2012: Donald Lawson of Lapeer, MI won a $337 million Powerball jackpot, which at the time was the state’s third-largest payout in the history of the MI Lottery. Lawson decided to accept the lump sum payment, which paid out $224.6 million before taxes.
  • September 2015: Michigan native Julie Leach won $310 million playing the Powerball, and also decided to take the lump sum payment which totaled $197.4 million pre-taxes.
  • January 2021: The biggest prize in the history of the Michigan Lottery was won in January 2021 by the Wolverine FLL Club, which won $1.05 billion from the Mega Millions jackpot. Purchased at a Kroger grocery store in Novi, MI, they chose the lump sum payment of $776 million before taxes.

Is there a Michigan Lottery mobile app?

Yes, there is a Michigan Lottery mobile app that is downloadable for both Android and iOS devices. In addition to being able to purchase both instant win and draw games directly from the mobile app, players can also receive their winnings via the app up to $99,999.

Players can also check their tickets to see if they have winning numbers, as well as manage their Michigan Lottery account. Additionally, players can view current jackpots, and submit claims for winnings of any size. The Michigan Lottery mobile app can be downloaded for free from the Google Play or Apple App Store, but you must register for an account and be a Michigan resident to use it.


How many people play the lottery in Michigan?

While it is not known exactly how many people play the lottery in Michigan, the lottery generates more than $6 billion in gross revenue each year, meaning it is quite popular.

Do I pay taxes when I win the MI lottery?

Yes, you must pay taxes when you win the MI Lottery, as you are subject to both federal and state income taxes. When you win more than $600, Michigan state tax is withheld from your winnings, and you also might be subject to federal taxes depending on the size of the winnings. It is always best to consult with a tax professional to verify your specific tax situation.

Can I play the Michigan Lottery if I’m 18?

Yes, you can play the Michigan Lottery if you are 18 years of older. This includes purchasing physical tickets at an authorized retailer, as well as purchasing MI Lottery tickets online.

What is the annual revenue from the Michigan Lottery?

The annual revenue from the Michigan Lottery is approximately $6 billion, increasing each year.

How often can you play the lottery?

You can play the lottery as often as you would like, with draws for draw games happening every day, and instant win (scratch-off) games available 24/7 for purchase.