BOSTON (SHNS) – Lottery players hoping to find a little luck by placing their wagers on the same machine that produced last week’s $758.7 million Powerball jackpot winner are too late.
The Massachusetts Lottery took the machine that printed Mavis Wanczyk’s winning Powerball ticket at the Pride Station in Chicopee last Wednesday out of service for maintenance and now the Lottery is trying to decide what to do with the piece of Lottery history.
“We did end up taking the winning Powerball machine offline for other maintenance issues and we were kind of contemplating whether there is a lottery museum somewhere that may be interested in having that,” Lottery Executive Director Michael Sweeney said Tuesday during a discussion about buying new machines to replace the Lottery’s antiquated blue terminals.
Treasurer Deborah Goldberg offered to host the machine in her office, where she already displays artifacts from previous generations.
Comptroller Thomas Shack, suggested it be placed at the base of the State House’s Grand Staircase “so we can always be reminded as we walk by there of just how valuable the Lottery is and that machine is.”
By virtue of printing the Powerball jackpot winning ticket, that machine secured about $24.5 million in unanticipated income tax revenue, a tidy sum but not exactly free cash considering the state has ended the last two fiscal years with revenue gaps in the hundreds of millions.
The lucky Chicopee machine will not be the only Lottery terminal coming offline – the Lottery Commission on Tuesday authorized Sweeney to buy 2,001 new machines at a cost of about $4.1 million.
The new machines will replace the hulking blue terminals that are ubiquitous in convenience stores and gas stations around the state. The Lottery has been using those machines for decades and is upgrading to newer, more technologically-advanced terminals. The new machines, Sweeney said, appeal to Lottery retailers because they come in different sizes and don’t necessarily take up lots of space in small stores.
Sweeney said the Lottery has already rolled out about 20 of the new machines, mostly near the Lottery’s Braintree headquarters. The rollout will advance more aggressively after the holiday sales season, Sweeney said.
Before the commission’s unanimous vote, Goldberg asked Sweeney why the Lottery was going with 2,001 machines rather than simply 2,000.
“Going back and looking at the price, I noticed we actually received a significant discount at 2,001. So I added the one and kind of recouped my pay for the year,” said Sweeney, who in June was given a raise to $150,000 a year.