John Martin of Maryland Lottery discusses kickoff of 50th Anniversary celebration and tales of the very beginning in 1972.
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Nestor Aparicio 00:01
Welcome back wn S T tassel Baltimore and Baltimore positive still broadcasting and high definition mono sound at a day and 1570 So make sure you set your dial as we get ready for Super Bowl around here we get ready for spring training around here and all sorts of fun stuff. The Maryland lottery presents our Maryland crabcake tour. We’re going to be Kingsville in the homeland do a breakfast at state fair on Friday. I might be having the Chesapeake Benedict for breakfast as well as some chicken waffles it’s a trip and grits we’ll be giving away holiday cast drops. I’ve got a handful these left. John Martin has threatened me that I’m going to have a little wishbones in the old days as we have the 50th anniversary of the Maryland lottery on tap here this year as well as our friends at window nation 866 90 nation make sure you buy two you get two free and you get five years 0% And in the winter I’m telling you I’ve had the best winter ever staying warm haven’t even wore my my thick socks because when donation so big appreciation John Martin joins us now from the Maryland lottery. He is the director of all things Maryland lottery and gaming in the gaming part important here as we get up on the big game. I don’t know if we’re allowed to say the essence to be that word, but the big game and a couple of weeks. John, how are you man lots of things going on lots jackpots. Just 111 point $3 billion. When gets hit all of a sudden you’re getting back up on over half billion already. I mean, it happens quickly with two games, doesn’t it?
John Martin 01:21
It happens very quickly. And it also happens without any rhyme or reason since that that wonderful of billion dollar plus Mega Millions jackpot. Mega Millions now has been won not once but twice. At very low levels. Yesterday being Tuesday of this week. Was was the the most recent so we’re reset that counter
Nestor Aparicio 01:42
level daily one 20 million that Yeah, I mean, that’s like It’s like Lamar playing for 23 million. He’s 55 or more, you know, but it shows a lot of money. If you hit on a short week. I know you wouldn’t feel good about it. If you hit you’d be like, I want one he might. I didn’t want 1,000,000,003 You know, I don’t know it’s somewhere in there.
John Martin 01:59
But yes, Powerball continues to move along at a nice pace. $526 million dollars as we are speaking today. And of course the drawing will be Wednesday. And then Saturday if it continues to roll should be should be some healthy numbers for people there. But we’re having a lot of fun and more fun than people are allowed to have Nestor especially
Nestor Aparicio 02:18
50th anniversary. I know you know you have to have fun when that happens. Right we
John Martin 02:21
had our big employee kickoff got people rallying round last week around here balloons, good ties, we invited back some historians as we call them people who were here on the inaugural voyage, many of them go going back nearly 50 years so it was great to see some old friends and and renew relationships. But from the player’s perspective of January’s already kicked off with some of the fun and excitement the beginning of January on the second. We already launched our $1 fast play game we’re 50 Win $50 So that’s been in the marketplace now for for the better part of the month. But this week we launched our family of games are scratch off gold family of games multiplier at the $1 $2 $5 and $10 levels. And with that comes a second chance contest. So if you’re not happy fortunate to win a cash prize, submit your non winning tickets, and you may win win a 550 $1,000 drawings that will start in February, March, April, May and June. So go to MD lottery.com. For more fun and excitement on not only gold, multiplayer family of games, but other things. We’ll be coming down your way here next month. We’ve got a couple of teasers here on scratch off games and contests a lot more fun to happen here in our 50th anniversary year.
Nestor Aparicio 03:44
I think this is the reason you partner come up on repast cuz I ask questions like this. Like what’s multiplier mean, John?
John Martin 03:51
multiplier. Thanks for the question. Nestor Oh, it’s almost like we rehearsed
Nestor Aparicio 03:55
this. No, we didn’t rehearse it at all. You say great multiplier. And I’m like, All right, well, no multiply. My wife might not even know what multiplier means that she plays the
John Martin 04:03
lottery. Well, certain games, not all of them have the ability to if you reveal certain things underneath the latex underneath the scratch, they may be a 2x or a 5x. Meaning your prices multiplied by that amount. So very popular with players. People enjoy those little hidden treasures along the way. So it adds some fun and excitement to the to the scratch off games.
Nestor Aparicio 04:28
Alright, 50th anniversary, you mentioned your big Soiree. This is inside pool for you see, meet these people that work there 50 years ago. So these folks are at least 70 years old, right? Because they were 20 when they work there like that, right? So these folks are a little older, how big of an agency what like what did they tell you that you could learn about the history of this thing as you said their story and they must have some information? And I’m sure if this said cocktail party balloon event that you pick their brains what’s the funniest story you got?
John Martin 04:59
Well, you know, they’re Are you there great stories matter of fact, we’ve captured some of them with our historians on a roundtable discussion, you can find that at MD lottery.com. Go to our 50th anniversary page, we have to be a little creative and tracking it down.
Nestor Aparicio 05:11
We started a lottery. We had a little shack back here. Right? Right. But one
John Martin 05:15
of my favorite stories is is that has told us the first millionaire. The gentleman won a million dollars and back in 1973, right? That that was something and he was in his 30s, he was going to retire, he’s going to travel the world. And a month or two later, he seemed to cross paths with us again, and we said, well, what’s going on? He said, Well, I’m back. He was a doughnut maker. He said, I’m back making donuts. And we said, what happened? He said, Well, you know, it’s just, you know, just sit around and he just had to do something, he had to get back to it. He enjoyed making donuts. So it was great stories like that people who won ridiculous amounts of money back then, but really didn’t have a perspective, right? I mean, that was way before you know, multimillion dollar in good grief billion dollar prices. But yeah, these people just had a go about their business mentality. Maybe Maybe that’s maybe it’s the Maryland experience, you know, just how Okay, I want some money. Now I’m gonna go back to doing my grocery shopping, doing my donut making, doing whatever it is that I do. So I think that’s fun to see how the, the the player reactions have changed over 50 years. My wife
Nestor Aparicio 06:26
and I have been married. We’ve met each other 20 years ago next week. So we’ve known each other 20 years. And she’s a lottery player. I tell you this all the time. And you know, she I take pictures or her buying tickets at the Royal farms or the y’s when we’re in them. And she dreams of winning and like all of that, and I know we’ve talked about this, the first thing would be like She’s an engineer with Verizon. Her eyes are messed up after her leukemia. She stares at a screen all day. And she she’s very good at her job. She’s very well compensated like all of that. But I wonder if we hit it big. Just to say we had one of those crappy Power Balls, we only got 20 million because it was just cashed out. We lost out on the big one. What? whether we’d worked or not. And I got to ask you because you play Dr. Melfi for me right now on the radio, John, when I quit my gig. Do I love love doing this? And what I do if I had millions of dollars in the bank, would I want to get up every day and do it? I honestly think at this point in my life, I would I think I would keep doing this. I do. Because I love doing this. I don’t I haven’t always over 31 years, I didn’t love taking phone calls and arguing with people. I didn’t love argument people at all people think I like to argue, but I think I would keep my gig. And I don’t know that I’d always felt that way. Maybe if I made donuts the pens out early and have to get up to make those donuts. But it is interesting what you dream of that this first million dollar guy went back to work just to see he liked making donuts. He bet one of them do something right.
John Martin 07:47
Yeah, I mean, that is the the wonder of the human experience. What would you do? I mean, you can talk it up about a lot of things. But when it really hits you, what will you do? And yeah, I mean, clearly I’m on the back end of life here so it’d be easy for me just say Alright, that’s it. I’m out cash out. That’s it. You’re in your 30s like like this gentleman was. Boy that’s a long time to not do anything. So as long as it as we say every time there’s a large jackpot. Take your time, get financial resources gets gets get people who you know and trust, get a lawyer get get a financial planner, get an accountant, make sure your taxes and affairs are in order. Before you even come in to cash that multimillion dollar ticket because it will be life altering and your world will forever have changed.
Nestor Aparicio 08:37
John Martin is here he is changing worlds and lives every day when the big winners come they got to come downtown and and claim their winnings. He is the director of all things Maryland lottery and gaming and it’s funny 50 years ago, we talked about playing pick three and how the lottery was born, how we have all these games, scratch offs and all this different stuff. Now, this last year, that was a it’s taxed you or your organization, but certainly was something that came from Annapolis for sports wagering, a lot of that was about this time of the year and these big games coming up in a couple of weeks. You’re making news every month and I think everything’s sort of pioneer ish for the state right now, especially on the mobile side, which has only been two months not even two months, really. And so your year into this and second big game as we go here. What’s the state of sports wagering here in these licenses? And I know you’ve commissioned media all sorts of things going on with sports right now.
John Martin 09:26
Well, it’s extremely busy. I think a lot of people would think you know, we were sitting here with our feet up, you know, the heavy lifting has been done but but it continues so today we have 10 retail entities and seven online, mobile sports books, but we are still not even near the upside on this. We have a lot more on both the retail side the brick and mortar side is certainly on the mobile side. So this week at our monthly Maryland lottery and Gaming Commission meeting, we will put forth Again, a number of qualified applicants on both brick and mortar and mobile. Now again, if you recall from previous conversations qualification is that first step, do we find that they have the financial resources, the financial integrity, the back round strength to be in the sports wagering business? And we, if we say yes, then we pass them over their application over to our friends that this work
Nestor Aparicio 10:25
is important for all of you that did they don’t fail, right? Literally, literally,
John Martin 10:29
no one wants to just stand out and hand these things out at the corner and see, you know, two out of every three fail and no, we have to make sure that there’s some, there’s some foundation there to withstand the ebbs and flows. And the roller coaster that is the sports wagering marketplace particularly
Nestor Aparicio 10:45
imagine absent flows, like everybody in my audience who bets on sports. Hey, they don’t bet every I hope they don’t bet every I mean, we tell them not to write every day. But but the football part of this is such a big part of it. And let’s, I’m not counting the Pro Bowl John, but only three games left, right. I mean, once this is over with it’s, you don’t just move to hockey or basketball, maybe March Madness, or whatever. But I think everybody in the sports space, and all of these owners would understand like, the day after the Super Bowl, things are gonna slow down a little bit.
John Martin 11:16
Well, the circus leaves town, right? I mean, you know, you’re cleaning up the streets. And there’s that, you know,
Nestor Aparicio 11:22
feeling walk in winter, right?
John Martin 11:26
Exactly. So that’s why people seem to get amped up at certain times of the year. And but but our processes 24/7 365. So we continue to regulate and continue to do our job to qualify these applicants, send them over to spark, spark will do their work, and hopefully award the license, then it comes back to us, where we go through that very final stage with the operational requirements, the control demonstrations, before we actually issue a license. So even though today we’re talking about the potential to have five more entities be qualified this week, the reality is, none of those are gonna be up and running in time for these last three games on the NFL calendar. So at best some of these people get up and running, you know, sometime this spring, in really ramp up for next football season.
Nestor Aparicio 12:10
How many kid licenses can there be You said there’s 10, brick 10, mobile seven brick and mortar is it the other way around either either way, but there’s a cap on this, right. And it will probably approach anything near a cap, because there’s going to be a market saturation here. I don’t want to say soon. But I’ve been inundated with the ads we all have, there’s going to come a point where this thing is going to level out. Like I always compare it to him. I’m an old guy. But when video video stores showed up on every corner of the block, at some point, it levels out and you can’t have one of these on every corner. But there were none 15 months ago, right, literally. And we’re getting a settling in on all this. And I’m interested that there are some people who want to get into the game that we’d say late. But being operational, I guess in the second full season of football, which would be September, so we’re not that far away.
John Martin 13:01
The numbers will continue to fluctuate for several years at this point. The reality is the licenses were kept in legislation 60 on the mobile side, and basically 47 on the brick and mortar side. Our application window closes October 21. So if you didn’t have your application in, those high watermarks don’t really apply anymore. The reality
Nestor Aparicio 13:25
is today, forever or no.
John Martin 13:30
For now, for now, I was gonna say that. I mean, everything’s always subject to review by the General Assembly and legislation can always be modified.
Nestor Aparicio 13:37
That was the end of the end as the legislation was written, which was getting in by October or you can’t play for now.
John Martin 13:43
Right? Right. Okay, so And so today, we have still to work through. Again, we have 10 retail and seven mobile, but we have the potential to get upwards of 20 retail, and 21 mobile. And these are people still in the pipeline still working through the qualification award issuance phase. Now, who’s to say at some point that weeds itself out I mean, there was some news today in the ER this week in the industry where some of the the smaller players are already looking at potential acquisition and merger capabilities. So you’re right to your earlier point. I mean, that’s just the reality. And you could go back to the auto industry. I mean, back in the day, the Henry Ford, you know, there were dozens of auto companies here in America today, not so much. So eventually, there was a a winnowing down and a collaboration or consolidation is probably the better word of the players in the marketplace. Are we there now? No. Will we be there? You know, by the time these licenses all come up for renewal within five years? Oh, probably probably.
Nestor Aparicio 14:43
I think the interesting part is that it’s such a sort of nascent, you know, like, there’s no history here. It’s all brand new. It’s new for all the players as well. I would think for the players who’ve been playing all year, bad beats, big wins. You know, all the excitement that sort of rolls along with it, I would say If you’re a player and listen, you took a lot of heat. You were the one people were yelling at about get mobile open, get mobile open this couple of months period, I would people in my world are happy playing the people that want to play playing responsibly doing what they’re doing, but in honor against the Ravens over under whatever they’re doing. The people I know who waited for it wanted it. They’re real happy with it’s and part of that has been that you guys have done all of this work so that you can just put your name and put credit card in and make your bags and get your pet you know, make it easy for the user because I know at heart that was you don’t want dispute. You don’t want problems, right? I
John Martin 15:37
mean, and I think at least that got off to a good start for in my world. My world’s very, very happy with how it’s working. Well again, as the regulator, we’re the umpire we call the balls and strikes. So it’s really up to those sportsbook operators to really make sure that that gets equitable and implemented. Did you see the story following the last weekend’s games of the young man who had a four game parlay where he picked the first touchdown by a player in each of the four games. And as he had gone three for three and last game was Dallas, and
Nestor Aparicio 16:09
sounds pretty exotic to me. Exotic wagering is what it sounds like. It was for $5 barely understand the bet.
John Martin 16:17
$5 bet he had to parlay which who was going to buy player name, not just which team which player was going to score the first touchdown in each of the four games last weekend.
Nestor Aparicio 16:26
That that that has a heck of a payoff. I mean, I don’t I don’t know what the odds of doing that or this weekend. first touchdown in these two games this weekend. Okay,
John Martin 16:35
yeah. And it was great, because his friends had the video of the last game in Dallas, and he’s pacing the room and bam, he gets he gets the last one. He’s run around hugging everybody. For his $5 became $72,000 plus. And he called it life changing and some people took them to tasks, it is not life changing. Well, for him, it was he paid off all the student debt. He’s a young man, he put the rest of it theoretically, you know, for good purpose for a rainy day. And for him, it was life changing. And that’s, that’s when it hopefully works well that people have a plan. They stick to it, you know, a $5 bet should be within everyone’s range. And yet he did the homework. He did what he wanted to do and made the bet appropriately. And now he’s got a plan. He’s got a responsible plan for the winnings. So you hope that’s what people do. They treat it as entertainment. They have some fun with it, they set a budget, they set a time limit. They do it with friends, so there’s more of a more fun involved with it. And ultimately, they are playing responsibly.
Nestor Aparicio 17:35
That’s an interesting way to play because I’m thinking like what I do that well I feel like I know a lot about football. I know make it fun. And I’m thinking like I’ve been to the racetrack 100 times and bet on horses and colors and numbers and wait for an exact or wait for triple you know, trying to win real money not just cash $5 ticket win 20 bucks or whatever. And at the track. That’s an interesting way to even think about it as almost like, alright, it’s a daily double, I’ll take this player, that player, that player, and if it comes in, oh my god, it’ll be like bigger than any exact or you know, that would be five for 72,000 Yeah, you know, I’m not gonna I’m not gonna disparage that bet that sounds like something fun. And to your point, not life altering if you lose good time, and he won, it probably would have been a funny story if he lost John Martin is here he is the Maryland lottery and gaming director of all things directing on Friday, we’re going to be doing the Maryland crab cake tour at State Fair in the morning. We’re doing the morning nine to noon, just trying to stay out of the wherever they have a really busy happy hour to stay fair in Kaysville. We’ll be there with our friends within their nation as well. Mark and your calendar on March 3, we are at drugs city and march 8, we are failing. I’m starting to put some dates together. I’m going to be around a lot in February as well. And we’re gonna be doing a couple of shows there as well. John, what else is going on in lottery kingdom for the director of all things Maryland lottery gaming, other than this big 50th anniversary party on the throne?
John Martin 18:57
Well, I’ll tell you why if you go to Mt lottery.com To get our winter stories, and there are lots of them interesting story has developed here and it hopefully will have some legs to it. We introduced a scratch off game a $20 scratch off game last month in December called $50,000. Cash. Our normal top prize on the $20 game is a million dollars. And we may have you know four or five of those. But every once in a while the boys and girls in product development yellow crazy. And they they spin the Wheel of Fate and it comes up with a whole different structure. And in this game, your $20 investment the top prize that you could win is $50,000 which is our normal top prize in a $5 game. The kicker here is that we had over 150 of these $50,000 prizes. There’s a
Nestor Aparicio 19:42
so in other words, John’s rich He’s got big pot he’s got a million dollars he can give it away. Do you want to give a million to one person or get 50,000 to 20 and it might be more fun is that pretty much that I get the concept right mathematic?
John Martin 19:54
Exactly the concept and players who enjoy scratch offs particularly at the higher price points are run Need of this like crazy? In the first month we already have had seven. Actually more now look at the update. Now we’ve had nine winners of $50,000
Nestor Aparicio 20:10
a player saying I agree I don’t need a million I think 50 grand, I mean, you get a better chance of winning, I can be 20 chances to win 50 grand, okay, I that would be life altering for some people as you
John Martin 20:20
for some people, so have some fun with that $50,000 Cash, more than 150 prices to start right now. It’s probably getting below that as we speak. Someone could be walking knocking on my door with with another winning ticket. But enjoy it have some fun again, play responsibly $50,000 cash, or $20 recently implemented ticket.
Nestor Aparicio 20:41
You know, back when we began this deal, they would say to me, are you sure you can do 20 minutes every week on the lottery and have fun with John. I’m like, yeah. And then you said something to me that I think I could do a month worth of segments with you. You said product, the folks at product development or habit. I want to meet those folks like now I’m getting interested now. Now I want to know what it’s like I went ahead, that is curtain on his public relations with wise markets the other day. And last time I talked to Dennis I was up at their factory wearing the Laverne and Shirley hat, going through the ice cream factory. And I said that the only reason I really want this relationships, I wanted to be in the cockpit in the ice cream factory, asking the guy who picks the flavors why he picks them. So this is this is the point in my job, John, where if I hate your little lottery, and I win life altering money that I still would want to sit here and do the show, because I like learning about things like product development,
John Martin 21:30
you know, something that we haven’t done before? I don’t think I mean, you know, sometimes I’m not here as you know, and, and weather
Nestor Aparicio 21:36
always goes downhill. Don’t tell Seth or Doug. Whether it’s Seth or Roz or duck,
John Martin 21:41
maybe we ought to do is invite someone from our product development team and the three of us have a nice little conversation.
Nestor Aparicio 21:47
Maybe we should do that over a crab cake in a place like State Fair, where you can bring out the tickets, like a whole bunch of old ones. And you know, and we can literally have some fun with it and talk about the psychology of it a little bit how it works, why people love it, what they love what you’re trying to do when you build the game to make it fun for my wife. My wife’s sister is more of a scratch off person. We’ve talked about the Christmas money, so she loves playing scratch off her sister. My wife likes jackpots, you know, just different psychology about it. Right?
John Martin 22:19
Well, let’s plan on that. Let’s have your girl call my girl or your personal. Sorry, I just I just
Nestor Aparicio 22:24
thought that would be fun. And especially for the 50th anniversary. Because listen, I mean, I have two tickets here. I actually have one from last year as well. They’re different, but they’re the same. But they appeal to different people in different ways. And I think I listen when I’ve had both of them, John, I had both of them at geonet a couple of weeks ago for crap kicked off. I held them up and said Which one do you want? And it was people a guy wearing a rabid jacket picked a holiday when I couldn’t pick so people have different feelings about these.
John Martin 22:52
Let’s book that for February because of the month of February. We have our wishbone ticket comes back
Nestor Aparicio 22:58
as well as you’re going to be giving to me to get away because I’ve worked so I’m
John Martin 23:01
out there and then the other is our new $50 ticket. And so both ends of the spectrum there yeah, let’s Let’s book that for some time in February.
Nestor Aparicio 23:10
All right, I don’t want silver John. I want gold, gold and multipliers. John Mark is here. He is the director of all things marital lottery game. I got a couple of holiday cash crops that I’m going to have on Friday. John is going to freshen me up after the holidays, but you could still win a lot of money with these and people do. I had a winner at the GNA two weeks ago on the Maryland crabcake tour. Big appreciation to John Martin. Reminder again, championship games. parlay Super Bowls, play responsibly while you’re out there. Have a good time this weekend. Watching the games get ready for the big game out in Glendale will have full Super Bowl coverage around here as well and Luke and I are monitoring all things the only eight the number that matters here is the number eight Lamar Jackson. All things Lamar here at wn st we are wn st am 1570, Towson Baltimore, and we never stop talking Baltimore positive