$95M Texas Lottery Jackpot Won by New Jersey-Based Consortium That Bought 26M Tickets

The April 22, 2023, Texas Lottery draw was a big one. The $95 million jackpot had built up over 93 draws. 

But, unbeknownst to the two million or so casual ticket purchasers, their chance of winning all of that jackpot prize was essentially nil.

That’s because one New Jersey-based company, Rook TX, allegedly bought enough tickets to cover every single possible combination of numbers, ensuring they would win the top prize, and most of the other big wins, too. That total was 25.8 million tickets. 

That sounds devious enough, if perfectly legal. But it goes further. A recent investigative report from the Houston Chronicle has revealed that Rook TX employed a store in Colleyville, in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area, to (legally) purchase a dozen lottery ticket machines, from which it then purchased 11 million tickets. 

The Texas Lottery neither confirmed nor denied that this occurred. But it did tell a reporter at the Houston Chronicle that over 99% of possible six number combinations were covered in that April 22 draw. It is also on public record that Rook TX claimed 289 out of 289 five-number winning tickets from that draw. 

That made it vanishingly unlikely that luck, rather than just buying all the combinations, resulted in their win. 

Easy Payday

To buy 25.8 million Texas Lottery tickets costs that number, as they sell for $1 each. Therefore, Rook TX was investing nearly $26 million to win $95 million. 

Plus, of course, some $2.5 million obtained from thousands of smaller prizes. 

However, the plan wasn’t quite risk-free – even if the risk was very low. On the off-chance that, out of the two million other players with tickets for the draw, two of them happened to randomly hit the correct jackpot numbers, Rook TX would lose out.

That’s because, after taking the lump sum fee and taxes out of the equation, the actual takeaway would be around $35 million to $37.5 million.

Still, that’s a hefty $10 million to $15 million profit. But then imagine, a second, or even a third winner, came in to split the jackpot (before taxes). 

That could lead to Rook TX making a loss on its $25 million investment. 

However, unlike their odds of having bought all the combinations, the likelihood of things going wrong in this way was minutely low. 

And, duly, it did not happen. On June 27, 2023, the state of Texas issued a $57.8 million check to Rook TX. It’s a company founded just weeks before the $92 million lottery draw.

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