How A NJ Group Bought 25.8 Million Tickets To Win Texas Lottery Jackpot

Most of us have probably dreamed about winning a lottery jackpot.

Those dreams may have even caused us to calculate just how many tickets we’d have to buy in order to secure winning a lottery draw game.

Well, a group of people in New Jersey not only thought about it, but actually did it.

A partnership called Rook TX appears to have purchased every possible outcome of the April 22, 2023, Lotto Texas drawing that had a $95 million jackpot.

That was approximately 25.8 million tickets purchased at $1 each.

As you get more into the meat of the story, it raises questions about the integrity of the drawing and the parties involved.

Lotto Texas jackpot got up to $95 million over 7 months

Lotto Texas is a pretty simple draw game. Players just select six numbers between 1 and 54. There is no special number at the end, you just simply need to pick the six winning numbers to get the jackpot.

The Texas Lottery site lists the odds to match all six numbers at 1 in 25,827,165. That means there are exactly that many possible outcomes.

For over seven months, a total of 93 drawings, the Lotto Texas jackpot had not been hit. That allowed the top prize to climb to $95 million on April 22, 2023.

That night, the game had a winning draw of 3-5-18-29-30-52.

A winning ticket was flagged as being purchased in Colleyville, TX. The winners opted for a lump-sum payment as opposed to annuity payments over 30 years.

According to The Houston Chronicle, a payment of $57.8 million was issued by the Texas Lottery on June 27 to Rook TX.

Did Rook TX purchase 25.8 million tickets?

While there is no confirmed proof that Rook TX purchased every combination of the game, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that it did indeed happen.

The Chronicle notes that Lotto Texas was ranging from 1-2 million ticket sales for most drawings. On that April 22 drawing, it had over 28 million tickets sold.

Along with the jackpot, Rook TX also had 289 tickets that had five of the six winning numbers. Its purchases covered all 288 possible winning combinations that a player could match five of six numbers in the game.

When asked about the drawing by The Chronicle, Steve Helm, Media Relations Director for the Texas Lottery Commission, confirmed that the percentage of all possible six-number combinations in play for that drawing was “greater than 99%.”

Courier service helps Rook TX cheat the system

Buying every ticket combination is not prohibited by the Texas Administrative Code or the State Lottery Act.

Part of the reason it may not be illegal is the fact that imagining a person buying that many tickets never seemed feasible.

Texas is not among the states with online lotteries. However, it does allow courier services.

Top third-party lottery companies like Jackpocket, Jackpot.com, and Lotto.com are all running in Texas. This allows online purchases of Texas Lottery retail tickets where the services get these retail tickets for the purchaser.

In some cases, these courier services have opened their own stores in the state and gotten approval to sell retail tickets. They can then install banks of printers to create these retail tickets for their online customers.

According to The Chronicle, state records indicate that four outlets were responsible for the vast majority of Lotto Texas purchases for the April 22 drawing. Those four outlets are affiliated with available courier services in the state.

Colleyville’s Lottery Now, which sold the winning ticket, handled nearly 11 million tickets for that drawing.

It did this by only purchasing Lotto Texas tickets and adding in over a dozen printers ahead of the drawing. Following the winning drawing, the store dialed back to just three printers.

Though it seems fishy, the Texas Lottery has said nothing illegal occurred. They even touted the increased sales for that drawing as “generating much-needed revenue for Texas schools.” Each ticket purchased has 23.8% of funds go toward Texas education. Retailers receive a 5.3% commission on any lottery sales.

Rook TX plan wasn’t without some risk

While the math assures Rook TX was going to win the jackpot, that doesn’t mean its investment didn’t come without risk.

The biggest being that there was no assurance it would be the only jackpot winner. Had another purchased a winning ticket, the jackpot would have been split. That would have led to a financial hit of its $25.8 million down payment.

After the taxing of the lump-sum, Rook TX was looking at a profit of about $20 million from its nearly $26 million investment.

The additional winnings for lower prizes added another $2.5 million to its bankroll.

The Texas Lottery Commission allows anonymity for players who win over $1 million. So, discovering the identities of Rook TX may never occur.

 

Photo by PlayiLottery

About the Author

Drew Ellis

Drew Ellis

Lead Writer
A member of Catena Media since 2020, Drew Ellis is the Lead Writer at PlayiLottery, where he handles coverage of the online and retail lottery industry in the US. He previously spearheaded news content at PlayMichigan, where he covered one of the most prominent online lottery industries in the US — among the many other aspects of Michigan's sprawling iGaming market. You can email him at [email protected].
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