Francis X. Donnelly / The Detroit News
On most days the only sure winner of the Michigan Lottery is the Michigan Lottery, pocketing a tidy profit from all the losing tickets.
Monday was not one of those days.
Long lines snaked from lottery offices all day long as giddy gamblers waited to cash in their winners from Friday night’s drawing of the Daily 4 game.
The winning number was 1010, which is popular in four-digit lottery games
“It’s sweet,” said Rob Winston, 33, an unemployed Dearborn resident who scooped up $416 Monday. “I needed it badly.”
In all, 8,426 people won $21.6 million in the game, according to state lottery officials. Individual payouts ranged from $416 to $5,000.
It wasn’t known how much money was bet Friday night but lottery experts guessed it was less than $1 million. That would put the state’s loss near $21 million.
They even have a term for it in gambling circles — breaking the bank. It happens whenever a popular number — such as 1111, 1212, 2222 — is hit.
It also makes for a busy day at the lottery office.
At the branch in Dearborn Heights, people began lining up before it opened at 7:45 a.m., said supervisor William Griffin. It remained open an hour past its normal 4:45 p.m. closing time to handle the heavy turnout.
“Today was pretty hectic,” Griffin said. “We’ve had quite a few people who hit. It’s made a lot of people very happy.”
The Dearborn Heights office handled 430 winners Monday, compared to 50 on a typical day, said Griffin.
In the Daily 4 game, which is held twice a day, a player pays $1 and picks four numbers.
A person can win five different ways, ranging from $416 for matching the winning number in any order to $5,000 for matching the number exactly.
The odds of matching four numbers in a row is 10,000 to one.
Having such a popular number get selected is rare, said Griffin, the Dearborn Heights supervisor. He’s worked for the lottery for 20 years but said it’s a seldom occurrence.
The lottery makes money on most days, said state officials.