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John Martin of The Maryland Lottery talks big jackpots and bigger responsibility in March as Problem Gambling Awareness Month begins.


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Nestor J. Aparicio, John Martin

Nestor J. Aparicio  00:01

We are wn st am 5070, Towson, Baltimore and Baltimore positive we are positively hitting the Maryland crab cakes. We’re back out on the road. I’m taking a yogic exhale after doing our crazy crabcake row a couple Super Bowl we’re gonna be taking the crab cakes were presented by the marital lottery also have a handful these 10 times the cashiers to give away. I did have a 10 times a $2 winner back on the tour. We’re gonna be getting it back out with fate leaves on Fridays for baseball season. I know they’re gonna have a homerun riches contest at the Maryland lottery friends a window nation as well as Jiffy Lube, putting us back out on the road so we can eat proper crab cakes although that’s a little bit of a respite. I don’t want to have a whole lot of crab cakes during the month of February. John Martin joins us now He is the executive director of all things Maryland lottery and gaming and of course our podcast foil and segway expert as all things I will segue to you and say hey, you know it’s it’s almost march right i mean it’s almost baseball season right?


John Martin  01:03

It is it is so so much happens in march right the madness is on the horizon the the opening day, which is now in March. So you’re That’s March Yeah, it is. It

Nestor J. Aparicio  01:13

is Super Bowl in February. I’m still getting used to that. I mean, wow. Oh, this is a little different.

John Martin  01:17

Right. You know why Nestor because we’re old. We don’t like March Madness always ended in April. So not always. Well, right. Usually,

Nestor J. Aparicio  01:26


yeah, yeah. Because opening day was always the day that the championship was played. So it was back in April 3, April Fool’s all that. And now like we have the Ides of March, you going on March the very important thing, right?

John Martin  01:40

We have lots of things going on March 1 and foremost is March as it has been for several years this Problem Gambling Awareness Month. And through all of our entities, whether that be casino property sports wagering lottery, we are very forward facing and making sure people are aware of what resources are available and how they can play responsibly and manage their entertainment dollars. Whether it be buying lottery tickets, of enjoying the casino experience, or putting a buck or two on that March Madness tournament. It’s going to be all the rage. Hey, speaking of tournament type things, that wasn’t a tournament thing, but I have to just where’s my Cleveland? Where’s my Cleveland stuff?

Nestor J. Aparicio  02:22

Wearing? No, yes, yes.

John Martin  02:26

Last night, which of course would have been several nights ago by the time somebody hears this what a game Ender. It was the mavericks and the Cavaliers the Mavs Cavs and a 60 foot plus three pointer buzzer beater. Puts it in the win column for the Cleveland team. There was


Nestor J. Aparicio  02:45

something that showed up on my I guess it’s x Now we’re not calling it the Twitter anymore. Right. Like I said, I had a 15 team parlay and I lost on that shot. So I it’s like I don’t know why that popped up this morning. But certainly it was sort of this crazy ending. And I guess we get a lot of crazy things render, like the big the crazy ending for me and I keep waiting for this. And I’ve been talking about this since I’ve known you is when the jackpot for megamillions. Or for Powerball bangs in this week at maybe 700 million, maybe 500 million on the other side, right? The numbers are getting really large, so large that it it takes up a lot of oxygen in the lottery space here the next couple of days because somebody’s going to hit it big and as my wife always says It’s always somebody in California, Minnesota, it’s never anybody here. I said one day John is going to have to get out of bed and get out and have the bright lights in front of the Royal farms or otherwise or maybe even a Costas and say the big ticket was sold here in Sparrows Point.

John Martin  03:43

Give me a couple of minutes because my right out of bed in the morning is not a good look. So give me a couple of minutes to get ready before they they turn on the bright lights but she is correct. We have a combined billion dollar plus Bonanza and the jackpot world overseas as we think is

Nestor J. Aparicio  04:01

Dr. Evil when you say billion. You hats off to Mike Myers for that right but like 1 billion and a lot of money. That

John Martin  04:08


is a lot of money because it’s over 600 million as we speak over 600 million on the megamillions side and over 400 million on the Powerball side. But you know what, we’ve got a couple of things right below that equally appealing here in the state of Maryland, our multi Match Game $1.3 million. Now, once it starts getting over 1.3 It’s like The Little Engine That Could it’ll chug along and chug along. So keep your eye on that. But 1.3 million as we talk about it going into next Thursday is drawing and then we have a progressive jackpot game. You know, as you’re well aware we have our fast play tickets. And on our $30 VIP club ticket. The progressive jackpot is now over $1.4 million. So that’s a nice price again, please I know your odds understand all of these games, these numbers sound very appealing and wonderful, but But recognize the investment you’re making, know the odds, understand the games play responsibly, and get ahead of that March, Problem Gambling Awareness Month, and started in February with playing responsibly.

Nestor J. Aparicio  05:16

Alright, well, I’ll get back to the March because we’re going to be on that all of March. And I want to talk about the 800 number. And we’ll do that at length next week. But my wife said something to me. And I know we talked about this a couple of weeks ago, because she sees the signs and she is a player when the thing gets crazy when you think it’s life altering for her. But she, you know, we started talking about winning a million dollars. And I think I’ve told you this back in the very early days of lotto maybe 90s, early 90s, a high school chum of mines family hit the million dollar thing. And they were like one of the very first ones, it was a big deal. The Dundalk ego was a headline, and they want a million US and it wasn’t no offense to a million dollars. It didn’t feel like that it felt like a lot of money. But then we did the math on and the news did the story on it was like, well, sort of 50 grand a year for 20 years, please do this responsibly manage it, it’s a million dollars. It’s even then my wife said, how many people want a million dollars? And I’m like, You know what, I’m going to ask you on that. I’m gonna put you on the spot now just homework for you. But I bet there’s more people in the state of Maryland in the lottery that have won $1 million last year 2023, whatever, then we know about or, and it’s still like a lot of money. I’m a life altering would be life altering for almost anybody. But I don’t know that like, you can automatically retired and the dude set up your whole life on a million dollars taxable in 2024. But it’s still a million dollars. And I’m thinking like, it’s probably hundreds of people maybe are my wrong.

John Martin  06:45

Hundreds instead of Maryland. It I’d have to do research. But yes, you get our week. Winners review sent to your doorstep there. We had $2 million winners last week. Right? There you go. So and because again, the jackpot prizes, obviously are a big part of that. But you know what? The scratch off tickets, the $20 $30 $50 Tickets are all million dollar $2 million $5 million prices. So you know anymore? Those Those things are certainly more attainable than they were. But yeah, that’s a nice little exercise. I’ll get I’ll get somebody here on that. But I would say on an annual basis. It’s certainly dozens. Is it? Is it 100? Probably not. But it sits probably 50 or so.

Nestor J. Aparicio  07:31

You always say no your odds. And this is where I start to like, I’m not the mathematician, but I’ll play one on the radio where I say to my wife, you spent 20 bucks getting trying to win a billion dollars, right? I would say to her, like, the odds are gonna be a whole lot better to play one of the scratch off that you’re teaching me about a little bit, because it’s reason people play. And yet progressives and all these other things, you probably get a chance of winning a million, and you’d still feel really good if you want it. I keep thinking that about her. John Martin is here. He is the executive director of all things Maryland lottery gaming, they bring it on, we give out tickets, we do crabcake tours, we try to have a little bit of fun here, but the amount of fun that we’ve had over the course of time, and listen, I’m a sports guy and hard. I’m doing all these numbers and research about our sports numbers. I mean, people click on us with ravens and Orioles and all that. You have the same experience being branded with the Ravens scratch off with Homeland riches with Barbra Jean last year. But you had your big thing thing last week and we got together right before it. It was on Wednesday. Sometimes you do it on the field. I know you did it in the in the auditorium and I saw the video on I saw dog talking about it. But the big big ravens winner tickets for life for 20 years feels like life for me anyway. But you had your celebration last week. And that’s kind of cool, too.


John Martin  08:47

It was a lot of fun. And we really enjoy this part is this the payoff as you as you said for months and months of ravens football and people engaged with both our $5 and $2 scratch off tickets following week to week with various promotions, some of them lucky enough to be on the field during the game for our paths for cash promotion, others winning experiential prizes, like the trip to Jacksonville this season. So all in all, but the grand prize and all of this is season tickets for 20 years and this year’s lucky winner, Thomas Humphries from Nottingham, who you know he’s great when we have winter stories like this and go to MD and watch the video in and read the story if you haven’t seen it. I mean, here’s a guy who has fond memories of going to Memorial Stadium with his uncle and watching the Colts in as a as a young lad and now he has a cold

Nestor J. Aparicio  09:48

right here the ball at the Baltimore Baltimore Colts. Right? Exactly. I think it’s the only thing I have left in my whole world that has Baltimore Colts on it but I’m I’m still quite proud of it.

John Martin  09:57

And now he’s a And he’s the proud parent of a young daughter and he’s looking at making those memories that he’s cherished and remembered as a youngster himself now with his with his daughter with his wife for the next 20 years and and those are the field good types of stories. That’s when you say, Okay, it’s, it’s, it’s a good win. It’s a good story. We hope they have a lot of success and enjoy it. And it’s good to see people like like Tom Humphries Win win a prize like that. Now, this

Nestor J. Aparicio  10:30


is where like Nestor and Dundalk fan Nestor says, what kind of seats do they get?

John Martin  10:39

You know, I should know that and I

Nestor J. Aparicio  10:40

don’t know, like, I don’t know, either, I’m sure they’re probably pretty good seats. I you know, I don’t put them up into corners. But But, but, you know, for me and those kinds of memories with my dad it, I can I do a plug in the middle of your segment, because this, this has the same, it’s the same story that you just gave, and it reminds me my father, my father’s birthday is March 5. So every year March 5, we’ve celebrated man, the first 20 years on radio, I would have people call for four hours on my show and cry and talk about their fathers. And I would have celebrities talking about their fathers and different people. So I’m releasing the book on my father that I wrote back in 2006 on my love of baseball next week. So my stories of my love and how I obtained this, this was a legitimate 1977 Christmas gift from my parents from Sears. This is a legit belt buckle that I’ve had my whole life, that of my childhood love of sports, and it still passes on. It’s a beautiful thing when you create the next memory when somebody can talk about that. And, you know, five years from now he’s going to be in those seats every game right and, and have those memories and that’s, that’s really what you’re selling really is that experiential thing? Well, yeah, absolutely.

John Martin  11:50

Those are the things that make it different and make it unique. You know, it’s it’s not just a scratch off when it’s, it’s something that really instills in this case. 20 years of of memories to be made, so we wish them well. And you know, you can make a lot of memories with a lot less. We have people who are winners every day go to MD I love the story February you know, there was a Valentine’s Day in February. We may have missed it. I hope our wives Oh,


Nestor J. Aparicio  12:16

no, no, no, I didn’t. Nice. We had a nice meal. It was beautiful. Yes,

John Martin  12:20

good, good. Good. But we have an individual from Silver Spring, who don’t get ahead of me on this one. One twice. Wink wink on Valentine’s Day. The first time was came home with a lovely bottle of wine for romantic evening with his wife gets a pick five ticket, places license plate number we’ve talked about that before. I don’t know

Nestor J. Aparicio  12:43

my license plate number ever get it? I park in Towson. I gotta put it. I always take a picture of it every time. Because I have it’s I know it begins with a four and a seven. But you know, if you don’t get it right, you get the parking wrong. So you got to get it right. And

John Martin  12:57


if you don’t get it right, you might not win $50,000 As this silver spring resident did so. A double winner for Valentine’s Day had a nice romantic evening bottle of wine with his wife. And then $50,000 winner as well.

Nestor J. Aparicio  13:12

That’s lovely. Do you see what I did there? Lovely. Yeah, I get that. John Martini. I laugh at your jokes. You got to start laughing in mind. John Mark is here. He’s the Executive Director of all things Maryland lottery and you got any more winter stories for me? Because we talked about winners here a little bit. I do want to get back and talk about March a little bit. Yeah, no, absolutely. We

John Martin  13:32

talk about I love this because you know, in Maryland, and you go to Mt. To see these stories. We allow winners to claim prizes anonymously. more states are doing that every year. But right now it’s still a minority of states to do that. But we make it interesting and fun. So people come in here we’ve got feather boas, we’ve got hats, we’ve got shenanigans, anything that they want to do to, to help maybe masquerade themselves as well as hiding behind a check. But then they also come up with these new names. They, they, they, they have personas that come out of nowhere. And

Nestor J. Aparicio  14:09

CB handles, right or like a little bit.


John Martin  14:12

Right, right. So the winner of let’s see, this is a Waldorf woman who won $100,000 on our $10 $100,000 crossword game uses the handle Bout time. So she’s calling herself Bout time. And she has finally won the top prize of 100 statement,

Nestor J. Aparicio  14:37

John, you know, yeah, yeah, I

John Martin  14:39

think it is. I didn’t take it personally. I mean, wasn’t an indictment of us necessarily, but

Nestor J. Aparicio  14:43


explanation, you know.

John Martin  14:46

Yeah. Then we had a woman in in Suitland, who was on a shopping spree decided to get her a lottery ticket before shopping. Now, here’s a public service announcement. Do your shopping first and then get your lottery ticket it

Nestor J. Aparicio  15:00

because it does seem like a good you know, you know executive director of all things that man, it’s true, right

John Martin  15:05

because in this case the woman did her shopping for lottery tickets first ended up winning the top prize on her winning seven ticket, which is $57,777 verified it on her app when it said please go see John Martin at the lottery. got so excited. Forgot about shopping that day went immediately home to tell her husband.


Nestor J. Aparicio  15:26

I tried to tell people it says C MD lottery. That means something really good has happened here.

John Martin  15:32

Yeah, yeah. So you know, that’s, but again, be prepared for for winning experiences all the time. Just get your shopping done ahead of that so that you can get both things. I’m a big are you big list person? Bam, bam. That’s

Nestor J. Aparicio  15:47

all I have her list. I mean, like literally, I have two different colored pens to make lists. Oh, nice. John, I run it. This is like an entrepreneurial endeavor here. I thought wn St. Baltimore positive. So last thing for you. And we’ll talk more about this next week. March, we talked about problem gambling. I saw the Saturday Night Live skit last week. And we can talk about that next week as well. We’ll have you react to that gives you what to think about that. But I think about it all the time. Because I’ve you know, I’ve known people with gambling issues and problems. So I mean, specifically, there are five humans in my life. And I could say blanket it and then and all of them once this thing came online, I’m like, oh, boy, you know, I wonder percentage wise, a couple of them aren’t in my life anymore, that the folks that I’ve known that I know, they’re alive and well. But I’m like, I hope they’re okay. What happens when you call the number? I mean, that’s all I you know, that’s that’s my big question is that what happens at that point, because I know a couple people that if I could dial a number on him, I would have done it 10 year, you know what I mean? Like I’m like, and now that it can be so private. And I know the app tells you to slow down? No, there’s all sorts of things, including what you’re trying to do for the next month, which is just people who have a problem need to make a call and get help. And we knew this one was coming online, and we knew that the state was going to be behind this effort. But I often wonder what that moment is and that’s for anyone with any kind of problem alcohol, drugs, any sort of addiction problem, that moment they call what do they find when they get there? Because I think that makes all the difference in the world? Well, first

John Martin  17:21


I should I should stress a couple of things is the one 800 gambler is not a number that comes here to the Maryland lottery. It goes to a hotline if you will, the supported by the University of Maryland Center of Excellence on problem gambling. So these are people who are skilled and well aware of resource availability and speaking to people with addictive behaviors, and just starting the conversation. And it’s and it’s I should also stress that these are people who are not anti gambling or anti lottery. So it these are people who want to make sure that people are experiencing their gaming responsibly, making informed decisions playing within their means they’re not trying to convince someone to stop playing. So they are very fortunate to have peer to peer counselors. So if the situation warrants it, you’ll be in touch if you choose to call that that number, and seek help and that help is free for Maryland residents. You may talk to someone who isn’t has been there who’s walked that same journey and and battled the addictive behaviors for gambling and, and come through that process and reform their their lives. So it is very welcoming it is it is a service that we support and endorse. Because again, we want people at the end of the day to play responsibly enjoy it as entertainment, recognize what their limitations are, what they can and can’t do and and be able to come back the next day, the next week, the next month and continue to enjoy it as a as an entertainment option.

Nestor J. Aparicio  19:12

And my wife does enjoy playing when she plays right so I mean and it’s you know we play within our means and I would say that for anybody gambling anything I’ve always stressed that as trying to be the grown up in the room around here John Martin is the executive director of all things Maryland lottery and gaming we’ll talk about it all month long. I yeah, I’ll let it let it live with that because I’ll have some follow up on that. I know you have more information you want to get out. I might even want to have some of these folks on that do this work and it was always my understanding that these were folks who had a problem gambling so I would make a great guest for me as well certainly had a march madness in the baseball season where baseball has become a fun thing to be involved in as well on the gaming side, John appreciate you I you know I hope you get a nice early wake up at some point this weekend where you have to run out to some you know it Cumberland because somebody went actually opens in Dundalk because I’m hometown guy, but I hope we win one of the big jackpots this week.

John Martin  20:07

Well I hope so too and I get I hope I have enough time to get my spider man pajamas and and put on a suit and a tie to

Nestor J. Aparicio  20:15

worry about you’re gonna look very you’re gonna look very happy because because you don’t want this to happen here in Maryland. My wife can say I know the guy down the street that one John, I’ll see you next week. But


John Martin  20:25

you will. Thank you, Martin. He

Nestor J. Aparicio  20:27

is executive director. Well, thanks better the lottery gaming. We’re gonna crab cakes. We’re back out on the road. I have the 10 times the cash tickets, telling everybody out there to do all of these things very, very responsibly, including eating your crab cakes and getting ready we’re gonna be doing some fade these Fridays on the Maryland crab cake tour back for more about a more positive right after this.

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