Montana Millionaire draws winning 'Early Bird' $100K ticket

Montana Millionaire
Montana Millionaire draws winning 'Early Bird' $100K ticket
Posted at 10:52 AM, Dec 15, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-26 13:11:38-05

GREAT FALLS — On Friday, December 15, 2023, the Montana Lottery conducted the second of its two "Early Bird" drawings in the annual Montana Millionaire raffle.


There were two Early Bird prizes this year: one for $25,000 that was drawn on November 24, and one for $100,000 that was drawn today.

The winning ticket for the $100,000 prize is #274028. Lottery officials have not yet announced where the winning ticket was sold.

UPDATE: The winning $100K ticket was sold at Albertsons on 1414 Third Street NW in Great Falls.

The winning ticket for the $25,000 prize last month was #172886. That ticket was sold at the Albertsons store on Grand Avenue in Billings.

The grand prize drawing for the three separate million-dollar prizes will be on Tuesday, December 26.

The Montana Lottery has provided responses to several frequently-asked questions:

Why don’t you limit Montana Millionaire to Montana residents only?
The Montana Lottery is available to everyone of legal age, whether resident or visitor. Limiting the sale of a product to some people while excluding others is discrimination. It would also be contrary to our mission and place an undue burden on our retailers.

Why don’t you limit the number of Montana Millionaire tickets someone can buy?
The mission of the Montana Lottery is to maximize revenue for the State of Montana. Our proceeds fund Montana’s STEM/Healthcare Scholarship Program and contribute to the General Fund. To limit sales of our products would be contrary to our mission and result in less positive impact for the residents of Montana.

Why don’t you offer Montana Millionaire or another raffle game more than once per year?
The Montana Lottery has a large selection of games available every day of the year. We believe Montana Millionaire is special and successful because it’s exclusive. While it is not impossible that we may introduce other raffle games in the future, currently we have made this strategic business decision based on detailed market research and analysis.

(NOVEMBER 1, 2023) Tickets for Montana Millionaire went on sale at 5:30 a.m. on Wednesday, November 1, 2023 - and all 380,000 were sold by 10:30 a.m., just five hours later.

That works out to about 76,000 tickets sold per hour, or 1,267 tickets per minute.

Last year, there were 280,000 tickets, and they sold out within 29 hours.

For 2023, there are three $1,000,000 grand prizes.

There will be two Early Bird prizes this year; one for $25,000 drawn on Friday, November 24; and one for $100,000 drawn on Friday, December 15.

There will be a total of 4,100 “instant win” tickets worth either $100 or $500 each. The grand prize drawing for the three million-dollar prizes will be on Tuesday, December 26.

Montana Millionaire tickets sell out in 5 hours

Montana Lottery director Scott Sales said that public feedback was a big factor in determining how to proceed this year: “Montanans sent a clear message: They love Montana Millionaire and want every opportunity to play. An incremental change wouldn’t be enough, so we’ve gone all in with the biggest increase to the number of tickets we’ve ever done, plus another $1 million grand prize.”

The Montana Lottery shared the following advice on Monday, October 30:

Be kind and patient. This is the busiest time of the year for lottery ticket sales. Be kind and patient with the employee assisting you as well as other customers.
Don’t buy a ticket you didn’t see print from a lottery machine. It’s a violation of our licensing agreement for retailers to print tickets in advance and simply a bad idea to buy from a reseller.
If your ticket is an instant winner, you’ll know. Your ticket will indicate if you were an instant winner. Your prize will print immediately after your ticket.
Understand how the game works. Anywhere you go will be printing tickets from the same pool. If one store is sold out, every store is sold out.

Last year’s two grand prize tickets were sold in Great Falls and Butte. Previous winners of the Montana Millionaire grand prize:

  • 2020: Megan Thorstenson, Butte
  • 2019: Casey Petero, Columbia Falls
  • 2018: Richard Mai, Billings
  • 2017: Amy Lambert, Butte
  • 2016: Daniel Thompson, Great Falls
  • 2015: Jack Barisich, Winnett
  • 2014: Jeffrey Fallang, East Helena
  • 2013: Russell Miller, Columbia Falls
  • 2012: Sam Polesky, Laurel
  • 2011: Vern & Mara Wallace, Billings
  • 2010: William Morse, Billings
  • 2009: Dana Delguerra, Great Falls
  • 2008: Mike & Carole McGivern, Butte
  • 2007: Gary & BJ Klipstein, Billings

Due to a change in legislation, the Montana Lottery is no longer allowed to release names of Montana Millionaire winners unless they have given consent.