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How far has mobile sports wagering come since the last Big Game?


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John Martin of Maryland Lottery tells Nestor how far we’ve come since last year’s Super Bowl on sports wagering in our state and how we got to bring “Las Vegas” for The Big Game to the palm of your hand for the first time this week.


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Nestor Aparicio  00:00

Looking back at wn s t tests Baltimore and Baltimore positive were positively in the Superbowl time, Super Bowl week. Sports wagering and mobile and exotic things happening here. But we’ve also got our dear friend John Mark from the Maryland lottery director of all things lottery gaming, sports wagering, are you in charge of the of the of the buffet platter on Super Bowl Sunday to where you bring in the dip? And oh, well, what is your Yeah, Super

John Martin  00:28


Bowl thing.

Nestor Aparicio  00:29

watching commercials,

John Martin  00:31

I tell you what, I don’t want to give a shameless plug. So I will just teach this and hopefully some of your, your fans will know what I’m talking about. There. There is a a bakery here in the Baltimore marketplace that actually serves up football cakes with the teams who compete for the Super Bowl. And for the last, I don’t know, since I’ve been in Baltimore. And once I found out these were in existence every year, my personal tradition is I go to this unnamed location, and I get a football cake. And my wife has to be gluten free, so she cannot eat the cake. So I get to sliver that cake for as long as it takes. Sometimes it’s that same day, sometimes it’s a week, but as long as it takes me to deliver that cake, it’s all me

Nestor Aparicio  01:18

when I talk about John Martin for the rest of my life. I’m gonna say he’s a guy who has his cake and eat it too. Oh nice. Nice to hear first things first, and I know you hate when I bring these things up because the jackpots go up again. We had jackpots get hit. We had a big winner right like we were rock bottom all of a sudden we had the cleanse


John Martin  01:41

the cleanse of jackpots last week. So yes, the the Powerball jackpot is reset now to $20 million $747 million jackpot one in the state of Washington. How about them apples? But that’s a that’s a big win in Washington. Mega Millions is has trouble counting. You know what? megamillions fun fact work this into your your conversation at dinner tonight. The month of January we had four Mega Millions jackpot winners, of course the $1.35 billion jackpot on Friday, January 13. And then the next three weeks in the month of January, a $20 million winner in January 17. A $31 million on January 24, and a another $31 million winner on January 31. In the annals of jackpot history that has never happened Esther really okay. Or jackpots in one month? I four bagger? Well,

Nestor Aparicio  02:40

let’s be honest, it’s really hard to hit, right. I mean, we know that right? That’s why it adds up. It’s a really difficult game with wherever the combinations are, it’s one in a billion or whatever that number was probably more than that right? So the fact that he could hit four times in a row is that that is sort of randomly weird and it’s sort of anti the game the whole idea of the game is to get the build up right well you know what and

John Martin  03:02

that’s the irony because nothing else I live in in irony the the fear right the hype has been Oh, we got these billion dollar jackpot you and I’ve even talked about it. Oh, these jackpots are out of control billion dollars. You know, why is that happening now? And I tried to tell people, you know what, the pendulum swings, and sometimes people get lucky. No one’s talking about the fact that 20 and $31 million, jackpot get hit repetitively, but it’s the same. It’s the same game. So the game that gives you a $2 billion jackpot may likely give you four jackpots in a month. That’s just the way it works.

Nestor Aparicio  03:36


Well, I want to talk about the time that I played the lottery at East Point liquors, and 1988. I was 21 years old. And I had $1. And I played it and I said if I hit and I played 936, and I box that and the winning at that time, I believe was 80 bucks. I won $80 I remember that vividly. I want ad dollars, and I took my ad dollars to the Philadelphia spectrum trying to get a ticket for Bruce Springsteen on the Tunnel of Love tour. So I began last week the Springsteen tour in Tampa, I spent a little more than 80 less but not a lot. I spent less than 80 in Atlanta. I’m very proud to say I got a $59 ticket in Atlanta on Friday night. But here’s what I’m thinking if I’m gonna go to Springsteen again Springsteen lucky lucky town, whatever, that playing the same number every day. Maybe it’s time because I need to hit the lottery to go see Springsteen, Baltimore, that’s what I need to do, John.

John Martin  04:28

Well, okay, good luck with that. But as long as you play responsibly, Nesta,

Nestor Aparicio  04:33

well I’m just saying how good it feels to win. And when you open and you take your $80.35 years later, you remember exactly what you did with it, that you turn your winnings into a memory and for me, I need to hit the lottery so I can afford Springsteen tickets John Martin this year. You got ravens information for me right like and it’s Super Bowl week. We do. I still have a handful of these left, but I’m back on March 3, a truck city March. RJ we’re gonna be babies. I’m going to have new tickets. But this this is the sort of the crescendo of six, eight months worth of like football, ravens scratch offs, right?

John Martin  05:09

Absolutely. And every year at this time, sometimes it’s this week, sometimes, like this year, it was last week, we take our semi finalists to six people to the m&t Bank Stadium, and we bring them in there. And we pick a lucky winner who will win ravens season tickets for 20 years. And we put their name on the big Jumbotron. And there’s a lot of hugging and carrying on do you make sure


Nestor Aparicio  05:33

all of these people are Ravens fans when they show up or you just dress them in purple? Because I would think there’s got to be one year there’s got to be random Steeler fan or I could say Eagles out loud. They’re in a Super Bowl. I’m just gonna that’s what the most Eagles or the Washington whatever they call themselves were. But you’re a Cleveland Browns fan. Right? Like, I mean, is there a point where all these people confirm rabid fans or do we have some fun going on with this?

John Martin  05:56

You know what, that’s a great point. And in the years we’ve done that, I don’t know and I should write

Nestor Aparicio  06:02

out there really geeked up about it. I mean, yeah,

John Martin  06:04


but But you know what this fan was is from Millersville. And his name is Angelo country. No. And Angela will now be spending the next 20 years hopefully in good health. And attending ravens games. 20 years from now is 2043.

Nestor Aparicio  06:22

See, I was gonna say something about he’s gonna make a Browns joke. I was gonna make a Jets joke or whatever used to be able to make an Eagles joke about this. Now they keep winning, but I just hope the Ravens win. I hope that Angela was there. And I hope they don’t take the championship game away from him. Like they were talking about a couple of weeks ago. You’re right, you know? Yeah, yeah. I mean, I we haven’t had a championship game here since 71. Okay, so like, I attended one in Cleveland back in the 80s. I don’t want to talk about that one. But I was I was at the one that you know, the one that I’m talking about, I’m trying

John Martin  06:52

to breathe. I’m doing my breathing exercise. I

Nestor Aparicio  06:54

know. That’s fine. Shut it down.


John Martin  06:58

You know who else is doing breathing exercises today? A winner. He’s somebody that went alive. Gary Hill who did it Gary will, Gary, you can go to NBA And look at our winter stories. I love winter stories like this. Gary Hill, a Navy veteran, first of all, thank you, Gary, for your service. We do appreciate all that you’ve done. Over the years. 79 years young plays Keno and he’s one of these guys with a plan. You can appreciate this or he’s a man with a plan. And his plan is he plays the 10s. So he bets in an eight spot which means he picks eight numbers out of the potential 80 available and he picks 1020 3040 5060 70 and 80. And he hopes that they come up in some combination. Well, he lucked out that day and got kicked played the the bonus ball as well there for now. Two or three times multiplayer $10,000 win times 330 $1,000 win. And

Nestor Aparicio  07:59

he is going to use it good night out and yeah,

John Martin  08:03

and he is going to use that for a new home purchase. God bless Gary Hill at 79 with his new home purchase and his $30,000 2021

Nestor Aparicio  08:11


I was just happy to have 80 bucks yeah

John Martin  08:13

60 ticket. Yes, yes. It’s a nice picture Gary. Don’t know that you’re gonna see him at the Springsteen concert. But you know what you never know

Nestor Aparicio  08:21

you those people what Springsteen are 79

John Martin  08:26

That is a true statement. That is very true. So we have other winter stories. You know, it’s fun when people play. We also had a big winner this this week on our million dollar mega multiplier $50,000 winner with with that, so that was a nice win. We also had a nice win with let me bring it up here so I can get it correct. We had a multi match when we talked about Mega Millions and Powerball being being hit recently, our in State game our multi Match Game was hit at a $750,000 win


Nestor Aparicio  09:05

almost got to a million then. Yeah, we said over a million last year as I remember. Yeah, right. Yep. And our friends things are changing right with multi match two. Yes. On that right.

John Martin  09:14

Yeah. Now that was the segue. So the the multi match you know, we went to the the random number generator the RNG drawing and took the the televised drawings off the air and went to a random number generator, where we no longer do the ping pong balls. And what was

Nestor Aparicio  09:30

the official name of that? Because I don’t ever want to say that the wrong way again on the air. What was the name of the machine that had the air that pulled the ping pong ball? What was the Nate what’s what? What did the industry call that machine? Because I love that machine.



It’s called a machine.

Nestor Aparicio  09:45

I call it like the popcorn machine. I don’t know what

John Martin  09:47

it’s called. It’s called the ball machine.

Nestor Aparicio  09:49

The ball machine. Okay. All right. Fair enough.


John Martin  09:51

We we are simple people in the lottery industry.

Nestor Aparicio  09:54

I didn’t know if it had some name. I made a name up for it. Rather offensive a couple weeks ago. I don’t want to do that.

John Martin  10:00

All right. Oh, no, a lot. Yeah, a lot of you. A lot of people had names for

Nestor Aparicio  10:03


bad machine failure with that machine, right? I mean, we’ve seen that machine on television forever. That machine doesn’t exist anymore. And it literally is done the way you see Keno, Don, the little ball comes flying out, and it’s randomly generated by our what’s it called State give me that again, the ar,

John Martin  10:24

ar N G random number generator random number generator, okay. And so MultiMax will, will be a, we’re gonna move the time so that we can do all these things as efficiently as possible, because that’s if nothing else, we try to be efficient here at Maryland lottery gaming. So we will move the time back to 7:56pm. It’s normally drawn after 11. So but that’s not till March 2. So people have plenty of time to get their affairs in order. And be ready for that. That new.

Nestor Aparicio  10:55

Give me a little play a little backdoor. Because I love having you on. I like why I mean, what what, what’s the difference in that? And I always thought it was a little weird you drew later, because I always thought that drawings were a dinner time thing. And we all go to bed and have another number tomorrow night, you know?

John Martin  11:11

Yep, yep. And you know what I’m gonna, I’m gonna give a very technical answer. Are you ready? Sure. I don’t have an idea. I don’t have a clue as to why, you know, what these games started ran, you know, over the years, when they start, they have a certain draw cycle a rhythm to the cadence to what works for them. And when they were all drawn with these ball machines, then, you know, for whatever reason, they had different times. But there was also a show,


Nestor Aparicio  11:36

right? Like, literally it was it

John Martin  11:40

was that much of a show, but it was recorded and so people could watch it on on MD But now since we have the RNG system, there’s no reason to bring somebody back at 11 o’clock, just to push the button for that. So let’s push that button. When we’re pushing the pick three, the pick for the pick five, the bonus Match five, so it just makes sense to do it more efficiently at the same time at same time now is roughly that 756 draw time.

Nestor Aparicio  12:06

I just always thought it was weird staying up late to see if you’d won or you’d have to wake up in the morning that part of playing is you want to see the horse race you know a little bit you know what I’m sure like, John Martin is here. He is the director of all things Maryland lottery and gaming and some news on the sports wagering side because it is Super Bowl week. I’m not out there. But there’s plenty of money being spent, we will always say and I still make this mistake because I’ve been on the air 31 years and I’m almost Springsteen James and you 73 I would just say out in Vegas out in Vegas, the numbers in Vegas Vegas says, because that’s what we’ve been saying all these years. It’s no longer Vegas. It’s here and anything you used to be able to have in Vegas. This is the second Super Bowl. But more than that it literally is in the palm of your hands that on this Sunday, I’m sure from a handle standpoint, people getting involved in exotics and having more fun with the game and their dip, especially when their team’s not in well, they don’t have that problem in Philadelphia right now. That there will be a lot there’ll be a big handle this week. Right? This so this is a big, big day. Oh, it’s

John Martin  13:00


huge. And our friends at the American gaming Association have have put out some numbers this week to really put in perspective and they are mind numbing the ATA is forecasting that there will be a record 50 million American adults, roughly 20% of the population expected to bet on Superbowl 57 and wager an estimated Are you sitting down nesta $16 billion on this singular event that that to me is mind numbing, and the thing you know they they do surveys, they do polls to get this information. So it’s there’s a little bit of that, you know, poll bias or factors go in. But the one of the stats, it’s amazing to me is that, you know, we all over the years, all of us over the years have played, you know, those party games, you buy squares, the 100 squares and your team versus the other team and the payoff at the end of the quarter in the game type thing. So for the first year ever, the actual traditional sports wagering sports books, whether it be retail mobile, even bookies is going to exceed the casual squares, friendly bets for the first time, so that tipping point has now gone the other way. How do they know that? I don’t have any idea. But they have extrapolated based on the results that they have that that’s going to be this is the the point of no return.

Nestor Aparicio  14:29

Well, the ease and the legality of it, right, the fact that it’s no longer and you know, we’ve talked about, we’ve talked about the cannabis industry here. We’ve talked about prohibition 100 years ago, once it sort of jumps the shark and becomes part of the culture. I mean, I’ve spent 29 years on radio rose, John, you’re doing these conversations where like the gambling part was tamped down last year went to radio row and Elena it really wasn’t radio row. It was podcast gambling row, there was more gambling conversation going on on radio row than there was football conferences. You should at table the table and all the sponsors were gambling related as well. It’s here to stay and more than that when you talk about this handle and the legitimacy and the real money not the tout money and all that stuff two years ago in this state zero, right like literally zero 24 months ago that we went in a plague and Tom Brady winning in Tampa, from that that point to whatever this is, it’s just a massive massive jump and it’ll never go back. It’ll be bigger next year and bigger the year after that but this is first time out. And I guess this is a good time for you and me to both say and I do you know, I get a little bit of this to be careful with this right this is this can be dangerous for the wrong personalities gamble responsibly. I mean, I have fun with it. We talk about numbers around here John’s here. But we just want everybody to be cool here this weekend and have fun with it. Right John?

John Martin  15:48

Well that absolutely Lester and when you look at it, it’s it is an education effort. If nothing else, I mean you’re right we have we have turned a corner on this and that it is part of the of the of the fabric of our lives. You can you can say what you will about about your comfort level as an individual but but it is here to stay. Two years ago zero last year, we had a handful of casinos, that you had to actually go get off your couch and go and make the visit and make and place the wager this year we have 10 brick and mortar locations and seven online sports books that will be in play for for the big game. Excuse me, and that’s I can’t even estimate what Maryland’s handle will be no we’ll have numbers. The end of this week right before Super Bowl that will tell us what the month of January did. You know December was nearly a half billion dollars in handle in the state of Maryland. Will we see the same number in January maybe? I don’t know I’m sure it’s pretty healthy. February remember that after Super Bowl. This kind of falls off the cliff here a little bit until March Madness ramps up in the middle of March. So don’t be misled that February’s numbers are going to be equal of December January they will not be because there’s just not these the staying power week to week that December in January half.


There aren’t as many games


John Martin  17:13

a game I mean, yeah. Although who had who had how many throwing four touchdowns in the in the Pro Bowl? Anybody? Yeah.

Nestor Aparicio  17:19

I just was so pleased that he went to the Pro Bowl and the first image I got from the Pro Bowl. Was it him with another snoop? So I said I’ll have to Snoop’s. John Martin is here he is the director of all things Maryland lottery and gaming, getting the year off to RightStart. And by the way, and I’ll just throw a quick plug out. I have other ravens scratches, but you’re about to get me into the 50th anniversary. We have new scrap we have a whole bunch of things that are I mean, next month is gonna be huge month for you guys in this anniversary ramp up. Right?

John Martin  17:47

Well, I’ll tell you what, we’re going to start this next week right here right now on your show. I am very very proud to introduce Kate airy, Kate is our Director of Product Development. Kate will be pinch hitting for me next week, you and Kate will hit it off famously I’m sure but not to famously, I still want to have my gig you know, the week after

Nestor Aparicio  18:06


which she’s gonna teach me which cake and tell me about she’s gonna tell you

John Martin  18:09

all about the the process we went into to put our 50th anniversary product calendar together. She’s going to talk about your favorite topic, the wishbone logo, right, among other things that we’re going to introduce this year about some incredible new products, new promotions for Maryland players that will engage them hopefully for many months up till and through the State Fair weekend in September. So we had lots of things coming out already in the marketplace. More stuff next week, or the week after you’ll talk with Kate next week. And she is a rockstar in the lottery industry. So we’re very pleased and proud to have her on our team. You know,

Nestor Aparicio  18:49

I love the wishbone and I’m gonna probably talk about this all year but the reason I love the wishbone is it reminds me it’s like nostalgia for me right like it’s totally where I am with all this radio row stuff and putting all this stuff on the air this month from years past but when I see that wishbone I think of being a boy on the bus. You know, I think of storefronts in Highland town, I think of eastpoint Mall, you know, like I just think about that was always in the storefront at a time when you weren’t overwhelmed with video audio, you know stuff there that it’s iconic to me. So I’m looking forward to you bringing it back and we’re gonna talk more about that came to be on next week John’s taking the rest but I’m gonna be around Super Bowl, wrap up radio row all 28 years worth of legends and people you you know, John, I bet people don’t remember when Deion Sanders just came by my set in 2004 in Houston and after 50 minutes. I bet they don’t remember when the rock sat down in 2004 I bet they don’t remember when the great great Nils Lofgren sat down for an hour and a half wouldn’t go away in 2002 in New Orleans, and told Bruce Springsteen stories about traveling in Europe so we have great great stuff on the air. All month long. We’re celebrating around here 25 years the lottery celebrating 50 years we are done. We went SDA and 1570 Towson Baltimore we never stop talking Baltimore positive

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