At 2 p.m. on the dot, the lottery machine began rolling.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Massachusetts State Lottery, state Treasurer Deb Goldberg drew Wednesday’s midday numbers live from the State House, where she was introduced by Governor Charlie Baker.
“The first number is 1! The second is 9! Next we have 2, and finally, number 7!” Goldberg shouted as the numbers were randomly generated by a machine.
Over $143 billion in state lottery products have been purchased since the first ticket was sold in 1972, according to Lottery interim executive director Mark William Bracken.
“As we look towards our next 50 years, we make this commitment today to continue to innovate, to continue to come out with new and exciting lottery products, and to continue on with the ‘state of winning,’ which since 1972 has generated over $100 billion in prizes paid to our lottery players,” Bracken said at the event.
Baker sported a new Mass. Lottery down jacket given to him by Goldberg as a belated birthday present as the Red Sox, Celtics, and Bruins mascots fist-pumped in the background.
“I see a lot of people that I know have been part of the lottery’s 50 years of tremendous success and support the cities and towns here in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,” Baker said to the crowd gathered in front of the grand staircase.
In 2020, the Lottery held the Sound of Winning Contest, soliciting musicians and songwriters to come up with an original short song or jingle about the state lottery, Bracken said. They received over 150 entries and 31-year-old Andy Brink of Somerville won.
Brink’s winning jingle was featured in lottery’s 50th anniversary radio advertising campaign and he received a $5,000 prize. He also got to bring his guitar to Wednesday’s event to play the song “Everyone’s a Winner in the Commonwealth.”
“A lot of it just popped into my head,” Brink said in an interview. “I grew up in New England and the Water Country jingle’s stuck in my head at all times, so I was trying to emulate that. I fell into a little pun at the end and submitted it for the contest.”
Barry Park, 81, owner of Gary’s Liquors in Chestnut Hill and the lottery’s longest licensed sales agent, attended with his son, Gary, who now runs the business. On July 7, 1972, Park got his license and the store has sold tickets ever since, Bracken said.
“At the very beginning, when the daily numbers started, we used to have to fill out a ticket in triplicate form. You’d come up to the register, it would be hand-cranked from the machine, and you would peel the top copy off and give it to the customer,“ Gary Park said.
Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante of Gloucester expressed how much the lottery means to residents, including her mother.
“She likes to watch the rosary at 7:30 and at 8 o’clock I need to stop the rosary to check on the [lottery] numbers,” Ferrante said to chuckles from the crowd.