BRAINTREE, MA – Aug. 20, 2009 – The first two $1 million grand prize winners in the brand new Patriots instant ticket have been won by a real American Patriot and a Patriot fan who was about to be laid off. Both prizes were won within a week of the release of the Patriots ticket, which is selling at near record pace.
New England Patriots, the newest $5 instant game, is a partnership between the perennial NFL powerhouse and the Massachusetts State Lottery. Treasurer Timothy P. Cahill and Robert Kraft, Chairman and CEO of The Kraft Group, announced the historic partnership last week at Gillette Stadium.
"Our winning partnership with the Patriots will enable us to raise millions for taxpayers while strengthening the Lottery's portfolio and market presence," said Treasurer Cahill, chairman of the Massachusetts State Lottery Commission. "This is a perfect example of doing well by doing good."
Scott A. Hoyt, an Air Force Reserve Master Sergeant, repairs jet engines at Westover Air Force base in Chicopee as a civilian and a reservist. Hoyt formerly lived in Massachusetts but recently returned to his hometown of Rindge, N.H.
"This has been incredible," said Hoyt, who has served in the U.S. military for 29 years. "I bought the Patriots ticket as soon as it came out. I actually won $1 million and $35. Three other tickets were winners too."
The New England Patriots are so popular at Hoyt's air base that work crews received approval from the NFL franchise to paint the team's logo directly on a mammoth C-5 transport plane, he said.
Derrick Gorman, a Plymouth factory plant manager, had the choice between moving his wife and four kids to Illinois with his company or going on unemployment. He couldn't believe his eyes when he scratched his $1 million ticket after putting his kids to bed on Tuesday night.
"I really didn't want to relocate the family to Illinois. My wallet told me to go, but my gut told me to stay," Gorman said. "I just got off the phone with my boss and told him that we wouldn't be going. We own our house and I've lived here all my life. This is a huge relief for my family. This is once in a lifetime."
The New England Patriots instant ticket is expected to generate more than $151 million in sales, reward players with more than $116 million in prizes and raise $22 million in local aid. The game has already sold more than $7 million in tickets during its first week on the market, placing the game among the best selling Lottery products of all time
The game, which is currently available at 7,500 Lottery agents, features 10 instant prizes of $1 million, 4,250 VIP game ticket packages and Patriots merchandise. The marquee prizes in the game will be second-chance drawings for five pairs of New England Patriots Season Tickets for Life.
In another exciting feature, two lucky Lottery players will have the chance to win $1 million in the "Million Dollar Drive." During two separate home games, a contestant will head onto the Gillette Stadium field to pick from 24 hidden prizes on larger-than-life instant tickets. Eight tickets will be worth $100,000; six tickets worth $200,000; four tickets worth $300,000; two tickets worth $400,000; two tickets worth $500,000 and two tickets worth $1 million.
Hoyt bought his lucky ticket at the 7-Eleven on Granby Road in Chicopee and Gorman bought his ticket at Luke's Liquors in Plymouth. The stores will each receive a $10,000 commission on the sales. Both winners will be recognized at tonight's Patriots pre-season game.
About the Massachusetts State Lottery
The Massachusetts State Lottery is dedicated to providing revenue for the Commonwealth's 351 cities and towns. Since 2003, the Lottery has returned more than $6.3 billion to taxpayers. The Lottery, through our 7,500 agents, offers players exciting and entertaining games, a formula that has made us among the most successful lotteries in the nation. For more information, please visit www.masslottery.com.
About the New England Patriots
The Patriots were named the eighth and final charter franchise of the American Football League (AFL) on Nov. 16, 1959 and will be celebrating their 50th anniversary season this year. In 1994, Robert Kraft purchased the franchise and vowed to bring New England its first league championship. The Patriots delivered on that promise at the end of the 2001 season and became just the second team in NFL history to win three Super Bowls in a four-year span after winning back-to-back titles in 2003 and 2004. Since 1994, the Patriots have won more games (173) and more often (.655 winning percentage) than any other NFL team. For more information, please visit www.patriots.com