It’s been 17 years since the Minnesota Lottery launched its first Minnesota Millionaire Raffle. The game continues to offer Minnesota’s best odds to win $1 million, so it’s no surprise that it’s become an annual tradition for many Minnesotans.

To celebrate our upcoming 17th year of Raffle (mark your calendar for Oct. 25—the first day of sales!) we rounded up 17 stories we’ve heard along the way through our Share Your Lottery Story free contest that highlight some players’ Raffle traditions, superstitions, and winning stories.

“My two kids and I all have November birthdays. I always buy each of us a ticket on our birthdays. I've even gone so far as to purchase the birthday tickets at the precise minute we were each born! I'll try any superstitious technique in hopes of it bringing me luck. One year, I wore one of my Millionaire Raffle T-shirts as my pajamas on New Year's Eve. For the first time ever, I won $100! You can bet that I will wear one of these lucky T-shirts on New Year's Eve again, and I’ll go to bed with visions of dollar signs dancing in my head!” -Marcia

"I'm guessing not too many can say they sold a million dollar ticket, but how many can say they sold one to their DAD?? My dad called me and said, 'What do I do if all my numbers match?' I said, 'Take a trip I'm busy' and hung up on him. Little did I know he really did have a million dollar ticket and I sold it to him!" -Thais

"I buy tickets from multiple stores on multiple days as Christmas presents for my family!" - Silvia

"I've been buying them since the beginning! I've tried buying just one, buying two—one close to the beginning and one close to the end. I've tried a different strategy every year. Last year I bought three tickets, each about a week apart. Unfortunately, none of the 'winning' strategies worked. Maybe this year will be my year!!" - Barb

"I try and buy one early on and one a little later, but my favorite ticket is when my husband is out pheasant hunting and he gets one in whatever small town he stops in! We’ve never won anything, but the hunt for the perfect ticket and the anticipation of a possible win is so much fun!" - Monica

"I won $20 on a $3 crossword, cashed it in and bought $20 in Raffle tickets for the local fire department and they won $500." - Adam

"I like to buy them randomly and cross my fingers." - Devin

"I won $50 one year on the Raffle. Nice Surprise!" - Terry

"Two good friends and I all buy tickets every year and have a pact to split our winnings if we win big! We LOVE playing! Best chance to WIN A MILLION DOLLARS!" - Audrey

"My mom and I play the Millionaire Raffle every year. We haven't won anything yet, but we won't give up! We each buy at least four tickets apiece and agree to split any winnings. We are sure to purchase tickets from a variety of stores and towns, never two in the same place. We purchase from large chain stores and mom & pop stores. We're still searching for the lucky combination, but I'MN!!" - Kim

"Since the inception of Raffle, I have purchased tickets as stocking stuffers for all my family members. We’re still waiting to be winners, but we’re always excited to check our tickets on New Year’s Day. Maybe this will be our lucky year." - Patricia

"I’ve been buying Raffle each year since it began. I buy them for siblings, our grown children and ourselves. I keep track of each ticket number and who I gave it to in case they win and forget to check. Our strategy is usually to buy numbers in each of the number sections. We love the Raffle! This may be our year. What if?!" - Tammy

"My lucky wife won $100,000 on the Minnesota Raffle! It was life changing!" - Terry

"I buy a Raffle ticket every year on my birthday. I haven’t won anything yet, but I keep trying!" - Tammy

"My girlfriends and I play Bingo every Monday at the Osseo Legion. We are all about the friendship with a side of winning jackpots. Last fall, 13 of us went in to buy Minnesota Millionaire Raffle tickets on Friday the 13th. We bought tickets twice, and when others wanted in, we said, “Too late, we already have our lucky 13!” Come New Year’s Day we didn't win anything. The dreaming was sure fun, and we look forward to buying tickets again in 2021!" - Erin

"Every year I can’t wait for the Minnesota Raffle! I always travel around Minnesota to buy my ticket at random places. I never have won but it sure is exciting to play." - Gordy

"Love playing the MN Raffle at the end of the year. I always get each of my family members a ticket. We love to wake up on New Year’s to see if any of us got lucky. If not, there’s always next year." - Ekkachai

Thank you to everyone who shared their Raffle story. If you have a lottery story to tell, we’d love to hear it! Enter our free monthly Share Your Lottery Story contest for your chance to win $25 in scratch tickets plus a lottery T-shirt.