It’s a lotta, lotta money!

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John Martin of Maryland Lottery joins Nestor to discuss enormous Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots and how those numbers grow the excitement around the country.


jackpots, week, sports wagering, winner, maryland, ticket, lottery, win, games, year, wagering, 50th anniversary, happen, play, day, good, responsibly, talking, doug, state


John Martin, Nestor Aparicio

Nestor Aparicio  00:01

W n s t Towson Baltimore. Baltimore positive still broadcasting in mono Sal that am 5070 Mix you’re setting the dial for us a Luke is headed out to the ballpark all week. Miami Marlins in with a 400 hitter and the Dodgers in next week as well. homerun riches in play. We’re doing the Maryland crab cake tour this week at Coco’s legendary Coco’s and Laura Ville. I love Marcel I’m looking forward to getting over there. We’re gonna have Senator Cory McCray, joining us also Dave shine and for The Washington Post in conjunction with my dear life or friend Mike singly I know they’ve never met so we’re gonna have to sports conversation. Next week. We’re at the Beaumont and Catonsville. There’s a rumor we’re gonna have a Hall of Famer there. I’ll tell you more about that next week. And I got a Hall of Famer here to talk about he’s got a 50th anniversary at the Maryland lottery. But John Martin joins us now. He’s been gone for a couple of weeks. And I’d like to think, John, that you’ve been doing research on my 25th anniversary, and how you can help me turn your incredible grand 50th anniversary, and someone steal some I borrow, of you know, employ some of your tactics on making an anniversary. Great, because on the third of August, we celebrate 25 years of constants. We’ll be giving away the instant lottery scratch offs on third and then again on the fourth, a drug see how are you? You’ve been gone last couple of weeks, You’ve left me in very, very capable hands. You know, Seth was great. Doug was great. We did second chances. But the one thing you’ve left me with and as the executive director of the Merrill lottery, I love when you leave a pot of gold behind, but he’s jackpots since the last time you left, they’ve just they’ve doubled it’s incredible. We’re in the jackpot land here all of a sudden, aren’t we?

John Martin  01:33

Yes, I’ve been busy the last several weeks nurturing these jackpots, you know, the weeding, the gardening, the watering, the pruning, the things that have to happen? So you want some tips on your 25th anniversary? With multiple millions of dollars and jackpots? That’s always a good attention. Oh, no, no, no, I

Nestor Aparicio  01:51

got peach cake. I’m gonna

John Martin  01:55

go back to the peach cake.

Nestor Aparicio  01:57

I’m gonna give some peach cake away for the anniversary. But yeah, you know what you guys have done this year for any anniversaries. You guys have? Like, really? You leaned into this? I would say so. I’m just trying to lean into my 25th. And I’m like, What’s the secret of throwing a good anniversary party good preparation, right?

John Martin  02:14

You know what, and having good people execute that. I mean, I am very quick to say that I am not the deepest thinker when it comes to putting together events and, and recognition. So we are very blessed to have a great team has been working on at first many of them for over a year in the planning and preparation for it and, and we’re in the we’re in the final stages. Most of the things have been launched and and new products, new promotions, getting a lot of people engaged with with playing lottery games, maybe some of them for the first time. Some of them family and like family to us and friends who’ve been with us for many of those 50 years. It will all culminate at the State Fair in September, where the people are still working through and getting all the final details. Players are encouraged to submit entries for every $50 of lottery spent, you get one entry into our 50th cash bash anniversary event, which will be at the State Fair, stay tuned in the weeks ahead for more details. We’re not counts or

Nestor Aparicio  03:20

anything right at the fair, right. They just all they have to do is win show up right.

John Martin  03:25

10 lucky people will be selected eight of the 10 have been named already. We have two more to go on August 2, that will round out our field of 10. Those 10 people we invited to the State Fairgrounds in September. And we will at a live event pare that 10 down to five. And that five down to one lucky winner who may have the potential to win up to $5 million.

Nestor Aparicio  03:50

That’s a good fair. That’s a good thing. You know, I hate talking about the fair because it feels like the summer’s almost over start talking about the fair. We’re in the middle of funding games here. But you this jackpot thing you never know when this is going to happen. I mean, you and I got together a couple of weeks ago. Little did you know one would be it’s currently 725 the other 560. But as they both ever been over a billion at the same time, I this is a good time for me to ask this question to you.

John Martin  04:13

They have both never been over a billion. But this is in fact the third time in recorded history. But both of them have been over $500 million. And you know what both of these other previous instances are pretty pretty telling the very first time that happened was back in October of 2018. And it was eventually the first billion dollar plus jackpot for Mega Millions, and in fact has set the megamillions record at $1.537 million, billion rather. That was one in South Carolina, and then the very next Powerball draw four days later, a $687 million Powerball jackpot. Now history repeated itself back in January of 2021. And it’s Stan bring out lefty Grove again, it’s time for our loan accounting reference.

Nestor Aparicio  05:04

I’ve done that a lot the last couple of weeks because that sort of is the you know, that’s that that’s the gold standard here in Maryland, right loan. Funding is but it’s there. It really is.

John Martin  05:15

That is the largest to date largest Maryland jackpots. $731 million. Powerball, January 20. Two days later, Mega Millions 1.0 5 billion, I think is worth noting that when they both get over 500 million and this is the third time in history, the drawings hit on consecutive draws. Powerball hits the next drop Mega Millions hits megamillions hits the next drop Powerball hits. So if history is truly repeats itself, when one of these hits, well, you want to go all in on the next one. Because we’ve been

Nestor Aparicio  05:50

to for two so far. Now watch your heels play, you know, all star game this week, and my dad would always you know, Eddie’s Do you know, back in the day he’s through for home or whatever. And I’m like, so it was What does these things get to 725 It’s like, when I see mountcastle I’m like, he’s through for a bomb soon. Like, at some point, this is gonna hit, you know, I would say the Powerball now at 725 getting up on it. If it hit and it’s one person in Maryland, it would be the biggest one, right? That’s where we are. And I would kid you a little bit. But I know better to say y’all are staying shaved there and keeping the tie out. Because at any point, this could be you. And if this does happen in Lona, coning or at the Royal farms on Providence road, or at the wise markets and stuff. If it happens here in Maryland, you guys, it really becomes a special special thing for your agency, and the media attention that will come for a $700 million winner in Whitemarsh would be amazing, right? Back in the

John Martin  06:46

day, it was a big deal. Matter of fact, we would all go to bed, like like back in the days when we were younger. Do you listen to the West Coast games with your transistor radio under the pillow? Back in the early days of lottery when we got to the significant jackpots? And everybody said oh boy, is it gonna be us. We were on heightened alert, you know, because the

Nestor Aparicio  07:04

jackpot surgery and like the bat phone goes off. Exactly. The phone starts blaring at

John Martin  07:09

two o’clock, three o’clock in the morning. You gotta get out there and be ready for the for the the break of dawn and the media attention. That’s kind of softened a little bit as you would expect in more of a digital world and more of a social media world. You hit the snooze alarm now and we will get to it in the morning. So it will be interesting to see. Yeah, there is an excitement always. But I think a lot of the oh, let’s hurry up and get out there and greet the day with it is kind of gone by the wayside a little

Nestor Aparicio  07:38

bit. Like so this run me through this because I want to have a little bit of fun because you are the executor. You’re the boss. And we’ll talk sports wagering and like we do all that stuff. And we got some new scratch, we got things happening. But if it were to happen tonight, tomorrow night this week for you, when these drawings happen at night, how quickly does the system know we’ve got a winner that that happens instantly. In the modern era, right? I’m trying to get the mechanism so numbers pop, we got a winner the winners in Maryland, Iowa, wherever they know that sort of instantly. Give me the backtracking on this for the first 1015 20 minutes. Because I I always think of this like the Willy Wonka the last ticket remember the golden ticket, you know, everybody was you know that seen in it. But you’ll know you have a winner the system Powerball megamillions they know they have a winner. And then it goes down. Okay, we have a winner. We know what state it was. So we know what machine it was sold. This is the winner. There’s only one there’s not three may sometimes there might be two or three. How does that filter down? Because there is a point where your text your phone is gonna go off, right? Like somebody’s gonna say your one is only 50 of you, right?

John Martin  08:44

Yeah, no, absolutely. So you know, the drawings happen at 11 o’clock, I mean, in the 11 o’clock hour. So immediately, you know, numbers are being checked and cross checked, and computers are worrying all over the country. It takes probably a couple of hours. You know, you want to make sure that everything’s legit on the up and up as a wise man once said. So you want to make sure everything’s in place, you know, T’s crossed, eyes dotted. But yeah, we know pretty much within the next you know, couple hours after the drawing how many tickets were there like you said exactly, we right down to the second it was purchased the exact terminal it was purchased from and in what entity. So, you know, back in the day, remember when some of these things were still novel, you’d have people claiming that they had a winning ticket and was stolen from them. Or they they put in the washing machine. And they were in New York and everyone in the industry laughed because we knew the ticket was sold in California. But yet people go through these you know Jerry Springer type moments God rest his soul. Where you know, they they’re trying to puff up their chest and lay claim to something that isn’t theirs. So today a lot of those background checks and cross checks. We know exactly how many tickets are sold where they are What terminal, what time to the second. And then it’s just a matter of making that aware of reaching out and waiting for the individual to come in. Because these are bearer instruments somebody has to come in just because we know there’s a winner until somebody comes forward with that ticket. And we can verify that physical ticket is in fact, matching the forensics that we have on who that winner is, is still not not over. And people have been faring jurisdictions in Maryland, you have 182 days to come forward six months, some states you have a year to come forward. So a lot of times in the media plays games, right? And we will announce that there’s been a winner, but we won’t disclose where for fear of the people are getting a little crazy about. But if that winner never comes forward, maybe they lost the ticket. Maybe they don’t understand how the game is played. And they just bought it and don’t know that, that they have the winner. So as you get closer to that, and we see it right, we should get close to that expiration period. You say, Well, wait a minute, we still haven’t had somebody claim this yet. That happens more on the lower dollar value store. You know, the hundreds and the 1000s

Nestor Aparicio  11:11

here, you know, you might wait a couple days get some financial stuff in order but you know, you want to go get your money out we think right?

John Martin  11:17

Well, you have six months and then that’s that that’s what we preach. And especially if someone were to win in Maryland, we would be out front and say look, take your time, six months is plenty of time to get your financial affairs in order. Sign the back of the ticket, secure it make sure that you’ve got everything in place because your world will change as you never knew it could. The minute you cross the threshold and you see this smiling face ready to hand you that big blank check.

Nestor Aparicio  11:46

Well Lamar got all that money. He was buying the kids ice cream last week on the internet so i would be that guy out by people like John Martin is here. jackpots are up new games are out we’re doing the Maryland crab cake Tour presented by the Maryland lottery in conjunction with our friends at the Winter nation. We’re gonna be at Coco’s having the legendary Coco’s crab cake this week at the Beaumont over Kingsville next week, and then really kicking off the 25th anniversary of our existence here at wn S T on our 25th anniversary, which is also my mother’s birthday, August 3, we will be a Costas and then August 4, a drug city just because it’s too much fun to do one that I learned from you guys, you gotta make it. We gotta like, have a sale on this that goes into the fall into the winter, we’re going to do 25 greatest moments and wn st as you inspire me, John, you know, when I see good anniversary things I’m like, because you know what one thing I know, and this is true for you and me, nobody’s gonna care about your 51st and nobody’s gonna care about our 26 Why is it for you with summertime and new plays, I know there’s a fast play. There’s new games, there’s different things. There’s not a lot of oxygen when they’re $725 million, or 600 million for my wife and these games and stuff. But you guys roll out things here in the summer above and beyond the 50th anniversary. You know, as you said, you’re getting to the end of the halo of the 50th anniversary, where you guys are just doing what you do doing business.

John Martin  13:08

Yeah, and that means winners winners come to our office every day and you can check some of these winner stores at MD And they’re winning scratch offs are winning racetracks Keno fast play games. Check the games out online, take a look at them on on MD And if you’re new to a particular type of ticket, if you’re not familiar with fast play, it’s an instant ticket that prints at a terminal has many of them have progressive jackpots and they’re fun stories.


Nestor Aparicio  13:41

Well that jackpot got really big last year I remember right we had a jackpot there

John Martin  13:45

Yes, matter of fact we had a winner let’s see where this was here. I’m not finding it because I need to find it. I think was this guy here? Yeah, yeah. A progressive jackpot. And of course progressive means every time somebody buys a ticket a few pennies go into the pot and until somebody wins the jackpot then they win the pot. So a $10 fast play ticket brought home a gentleman $170,000 and change for winning a progressive jackpot so it can be that that lucrative and of course you love the story. So you know people are always surprised or shocked that he can’t believe it. Okay, good. Well, believe it you’ve just got

Nestor Aparicio  14:28

last week me Doug made me laugh. We had fun because he’s the the poor guy in your agency that has to like call email people and say, Hey, you want 50 grand on second chance? And they’re like, What? Who are you? What are you what’s your name like? You? He said last week that they they accused him of being the Fraternal Order police guy and I thought, I’m sure that’s a very nice man, but he’s called me a lot to you. No

John Martin  14:52

doubt. You know, Doug is probably the one guy here who’s best suited for that role. I mean, he loves it he relishes it He’s, he’s great Abbott, he’s the kind of guy you want to have meet you and greet you. To give you the good news that you’ve just won a significant amount of money. And that’s, that’s always fun. It’s always good news to deliver. But he does it very well,

Nestor Aparicio  15:16

you know what’s really weird, and I’m gonna admit this to you. And then we’ll talk a little sports wagering anything else you have, before I let you depart. I use a in last six months, all of our conversations are turned into transcripts. If you go to Baltimore positive, you’ll see the transcript, it’s provided by otter, it was something that I wanted to do that when I’m with the governor or with you, or with anyone, and they just want to hear what we said and how we said it. Sometimes it’s a little wacky, it’s unedited, because I just don’t have a staff to do that. But we put those up. And when I put them up with you, and I, it recognizes your name, Dennis. Leonard, the guests that I have every week, Luke, it always knows who we are recognizes. That’s how smart this the system is. But when I bring in someone like dog, or Seth and Seth bit on a little bit more often, so I think it recognizes him, because the system remembers all my guests. Like, if I have somebody from five months ago on again, it will remember, it’s amazing. The technology is incredible, right? But it did not know the difference between me and Doug. And I thought, how can otter be confused by my voice and thought it made us all the same person? And I thought, and if he sounds like the Fraternal Order of Police guy, maybe I do, John, I just thought about so I just wanted to say that point that John sports wagering summertime, I’ve talked a little bit this week about baseball and playing responsibly, because I don’t know that the ads that some of these TV things with the hose going on, and then they say play responsible while they’re hosing you with money, that I know that you are, this is a new thing for everybody. And I would say winning baseball is a new thing around here. And I say that, respectfully to a guardian span that people are watching, and that you can now play a whole different way. And there’s a lot of encouragement to play baseball, if you’re watching baseball, and, and it’s new, and it’s and it can be dangerous. And I know you’ve been involved with this from the very seed level. But this is the first time in a summer where people are talking to me and I’m 31 years into doing this, where people are talking about wagering and baseball, and this is a new thing in our state.

John Martin  17:15

Absolutely. And first off, you should refer to them as the first place guardians.

Nestor Aparicio  17:21

I’m having too much fun. My, my dear friend, Rob wine Hall before the all star break was in Boston this weekend. And he was there. And I don’t even know who the hell they play. They’re playing the game, I get somebody there. And I said, take a picture of the scoreboard because the last place Boston Red Sox, that’s my favorite visits to Boston, or when they’re the last because they have the standings out there, you know, red sock, so he made sure we put that up on my timeline for me. So I didn’t realize the Guardians in first place. So now, I would say take a picture when they’re in first place, because we’re not in first place yet here. But we’re trying

John Martin  17:56

to know, but you know, who is in first place and people who play responsibly and when they’re doing their sports wagering, that’s, that’s the only way to do that. And we have wrapped up unofficial results, unofficial results, we’re probably still a month or so away from from Final etched in stone. But our first full year of sports wagering, we got into right into the into the zone, we thought we would be we’ve estimated all from day one, that when fully operational, and we are far from fully operational, we’d be about 25 to $30 million annually, of revenue to the state. And when the bell sound, at the end, we were a little over $25 million. And that was with 10 retail locations, and 10 Mobile sports books. So we still have a number, probably about another 10 to 12, both retail and mobile combined, they’re still in the pipeline. Now I will submit to you those that are in the pipeline now are going to be a little challenged in developing market share. So it’s not like we’re going to double the market, we’re not going to be at $50 million. Next year, we’re pretty well where we’re going to be and now it’s just a matter of you know, you take the fan duals and the Draft Kings, and people of note like that out there. And they may be combined have a 5% of the market with the others coming on. And you’re not going to take too much out of that. So you’re still going to see about 25 to 30 million. So the forecast was was pretty good, pretty accurate. And that’s really what what I owe our our folks in Annapolis is consistent and deliverable results. And right now it looks like 25 to $30 million annually will be pretty consistent. Well, I

Nestor Aparicio  19:46

would just say to you in a new system, because I’ve talked to the cannabis people and the gates open on that last week and what projections we’re going to be in realities we’re going to be you were very clear in the beginning about the promotional value that they were offering and what that was gonna mean in the early part of this, but I think, to tip my cap to you in some way, but more than anything just to say, I asked for transparency and everything right. I mean, the Orioles don’t have a lease right now I’ve been mouthy about that. Just tell us what the plan is, and then execute the plan. And if you do it responsibly on both ends, you’ll have happy people because you’re not over promising and under delivering hope, and you can’t under promise and over deliver. Because if you’re under promise, you might not get the deal. You want to be where you are. But, but that’s a very, very difficult thing to do. And I think in your seat, promising the sun, the moon and the stars and then not delivering, that’s not the way to go either, right? So trying to find what is really accurate. And when you come in and you nail it, that’s, that’s, that’s good for everybody. It’s good for you. It’s good for the state, it’s good for the business, too, because that means that they weren’t sold a bill of goods about how the sun the moon, the stars, were going to be there. And I think, you know, I’ve talked about all new industries in this way. Because there’s, there’s so much data and research that you all do, to try to be accurate that when you are accurate, I gotta tip my cap and say, well, at least you’re where you’re supposed to be.

John Martin  21:10

You know, I learned long ago before my lottery career in my early business career. Wise Man, one of my mentors told me, because he was being honored as as the Businessman of the Year for some organization. He said, you know, anybody can forecast the business one year. The trick is really doing it year after year and being accurate about it. So this is not just throwing a dart on the wall. This is really looking at the data looking understanding your market understand your products. And we’ve been very fortunate that lottery revenues continue to grow, our contribution to the state continues to grow. Again, when we announced our final fiscal 23 numbers in the next month, we will show again, a record setting performance across the board, both in lottery sales lottery revenue to the state, casino sales, casino contributions to the state. And of course, sports wagering for the metric, the measuring stick isn’t yet as established as it is in the other two sectors. But that’s a good story to tell, and in a new administration in a continual effort to try to get funds to generate and support programs that the governor wants to put in place to be able to say, okay, yeah, the lottery is pretty locked down the pre solid, they said, it’s going to be x. And it was that’s that, hopefully a sense of relief. And it doesn’t deter us from our mission, which is continuing to be a revenue generator for the state.

Nestor Aparicio  22:29

John Martin is here. He’s the Executive Director of all things Maryland lottery and gaming. And you find out about the, I mean, I keep saying 725 and 560. I’m sure that was yesterday, at some point it’s gonna hit it might be it, one of them might be it by the time you hear this week, go out to MD And as always, we remind everybody as we begin the second half, and it’s fun, play responsibly. While you’re out there. We got football season coming. Let’s think for because I don’t want to let this get away. Because we don’t come back to topics a lot of times we leave things before I let you go. Sports wagering, did you expect it to sort of cannibalize other parts of horse racing, casino play whatever it would be that it’s not found money or new money? These are people’s wallets and but this money that’s being wagered on sports? I would think maybe people are playing less lottery or less this or less that are going to Vegas last year, whatever it would be? Where is that a year that this as you see it?

John Martin  23:23

That’s a great question. I don’t know we know enough to and see how it’s cannibalized your word. These other sectors of the economy or the sports betting world, I can tell you that the the before we went to full on with the mobile wagering, other states had shown us that mobile was about 80 85% of the market, and that the land base, the retail would be the balance of it. And that’s what we expected. It took us about a week to say that’s not right. And so today, the numbers are more like 95%. Mobile, wow. 5%, retail, which to those entities that have a retail location, and don’t have a mobile dance partner, and there’s some out there, that’s going to be a little troublesome to really enjoy that growth. That’s the one thing I think we did not estimate is that kind of, and it’s not unique to Maryland, states that have come out after Maryland, Ohio, Massachusetts. Other big names states like that have seen a similar I mean, the market went from zero to mid 90s on mobile devices and blew right past brick and mortar.

Nestor Aparicio  24:36

Yeah, well, I mean, I booked my airline tickets online. I don’t go to an office anymore in print, you know, I mean, like I, I would see that it would be that way, but 95 felt aggressive. It still feels aggressive, but it feels like the reality if I’m watching the game, and I’m play and that’s the way I would do it. John, I will look forward to visiting with you again next week. Maybe we’ll have a winner. Maybe it’ll be a wise markets or real farms. Maybe it’d be a trunk city or Costas hopefully here in the state of Maryland, and you know, my wife’s at a state this week, so like she’s not here. So if you want I was thinking about the big winner to have through all of this. I’m sure there’s videotape of the person buying the ticket in most locations, right? Like most of these places are wired for all of that. So there’s just all sorts of verification that goes on. But I hope you play I hope we play responsibly, and hope somebody here wins all the loot takes me out for crabcake for it’s all over. You can learn more at an empty about all the jackpots all the games, and of course, the 50th anniversary come out and see me at Coco’s on Thursday. And then at the Beaumont next Thursday and of course for our 25th anniversary as well. I am Esther we are wn st and 1570, Towson Baltimore. We never stop talking Baltimore positive

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