The New England Patriots announced on Wednesday that, lo and behold, the first week of the lottery ticket partnership between the Pats and the Massachusetts State Lottery resulted in not one but two $1 million winners.
So much for “scratch-and-lose.”
But, obviously, that’s what the powers-that-be want people to think. Because they want people to keep buying the tickets.
Why else would the Patriots send out a press release announcing that the two winners, “who each have an interesting story,” would be available to the media prior to Thursday night’s preseason game at Gillette Stadium?
One winner is Scott Hoyt, a member of the Air Force reserves and 29-year military veteran. (In other words, a real-life Patriot.)
been incredible,” Hoyt said Thursday, per NESN.com. “I
bought the Patriots ticket as soon as it came out. I actually won $1
million and $35. Three other tickets were winners too.”
The other winner was Derrick Gorman, a factory plant manager who was scheduled to be laid off from his job, and who was facing the dilemma of moving his family to Illinois and finding gainful employment or receiving unemployment benefits in three weeks. (They apparently left out the part about Gorman’s 10-year-old daughter suggesting that he buy the ticket.)
“I really didn’t want to
relocate the family to Illinois. My wallet told me to go, but my gut
told me to stay,” Gorman said. “I just got off the phone with my boss
and told him that we wouldn’t be going. We own our house and I’ve lived
here all my life. This is a huge relief for my family.”
He also said he didn’t buy the ticket because he’s a regular lottery player (i.e., irresponsible squanderer of his kids’ college funds), but because he’s a true Patriots fan.
enjoy the Patriots and I saw the ticket and it was something new,” Gorman
said. “I grew up when the Patriots weren’t even on TV. I’d hear my
father swearing because the games would be blacked out.”
I’m tempted to apologize for being so cynical about the marketing ploy disguised as human interest stories, but it’s pretty darn obvious what’s going on. Willie Wonka deliberately slipped two Golden Tickets into the first batch of chocolate-free chocolate bars, and the goal is to get every other Scott Hoyt and Derrick Gorman to crack open their piggy banks in the hopes of being the next person who’ll get a shot at guzzling Fizzy Lifting Drink.
Or, even better, to win $1 million.
Which, of course, never really is $1 million. It’s either a 20-year annuity payment of $50,000 per year or a lump sum of $650,000. Hoyt and Gorman took the latter, which while not chump change isn’t nearly as sexy as winning a cool million.
And that’s not even taking into account the cut that goes to the ultimate Patriot, Uncle Sam.