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Answer Man: Raffle’s numbers ruffle lotto buyer

January 17, 2019 GMT

Answer Man: I don’t have a snappy greeting, but, I hope you will consider my question.

For the past year, I have purchased lottery tickets from Minnesota Raffle Millionaire, sold in November and December, with the drawing Jan. 1. Each time, the ticket numbers are not consecutive, but skip a number, such as 384336, 384338.

My question is, why? What happens to the missing tickets? Are the missing numbers included in the prize drawing?

I’m sure someone will come up with an answer — but it sure sounds fishy to me. — R.B. Bohler, Stewartville

Dear R.B.: Thank you for your handwritten question. There is no need to be snappy, as I have enough zingers and pizzaz for both of us. I also appreciated the example you sent along, but next time please make sure they are the winning numbers — the Answer Man has a few vacations he’s dying to take, and a cool million would go a long way toward making that happen.

For those unfamiliar with this offering from the Minnesota State Lottery, the Millionaire Raffle is an annual event that begins late October/early November and ends when 700,000 tickets containing unique six-digit numbers between 000001 and 700000 have been sold. For the 2019 raffle, the 700,000 tickets had been sold by Dec. 14, according to Marie Hinton, a communications specialist for MN State Lottery.

Winning numbers are posted around the first of the new year. This year, the raffle had a prize of approximately $3.6 million spread across a number of prize levels. If all the numbers picked have owners, 12,322 people could be a little richer.

There are 3,000 lottery retailers across the state, according to Hinton. “A second makes a difference on who gets which ticket.”

In your case, dear reader, it was three seconds.