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Ypsilanti firm unveils lottery ticket printing press

Shawn D. Lewis
The Detroit News

Ypsilanti — A local company that manufactures instant lottery tickets sold around the world on Friday showed off its new $25 million printing press to local dignitaries and the media.

The press is located inside Pollard Banknote Limited’s 90,000-square-foot production flagship facility in Ypsilanti, which produced 5 billion tickets last year and is projected to exceed 7 billion tickets this year.

The company calls the press the most advanced printing press in the lottery industry and opened its doors to state and local elected officials for a tour to highlight its contributions to the Michigan economy. The plant provides 170 jobs with an annual payroll of $10.5 million, according to the firm.

“About 85 percent of the tickets produced at the Ypsilanti plant go to more than 30 lotteries in the U.S. and around the world,” Michigan Lottery Commissioner Aric Nesbitt said in a statement. “We’re proud to have this plant — and the economic benefits it provides — here in Michigan.”

It also provided a first-hand look at the manufacturing operations and advanced technologies used at the plant.

But photos weren’t allowed of the actual lottery tickets being printed. And no, lottery tickets are not sold on the premises.

Executive V.P./Operations Robert Young, right, talks with VIPs near rolls of scratch-off lottery tickets.

“The plant sells the tickets to the Michigan Lottery, which is our client, and then the Michigan Lottery sells them to retailers in a book format and then those are sold to consumers in a ticket format,” said Lianne Paturel, vice president of business development for Pollard Banknote.

There also were dozens of security cameras placed throughout the plant.

“The cameras are here for a couple of reasons,” said Jennifer Westbury, executive vice president of sales and customer development. “From a physical standpoint to make sure the security of the plant is in place and secondly, special cameras check the quality of printing as they are going through the press.”

Among the state and local elected officials who attended the presentation were Nesbitt; State Rep. John Chirkun, D-Roseville; State Rep. Ronnie Peterson, D-Ypsilanti; Sen. Tory Rocca, R-Sterling Heights; Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge; Sen. Joe Hune, R-Fowlerville.

Pollard Banknote began printing instant tickets in Michigan in 1996. The Ypsilanti facility is among five plants the company operates in the United States and Canada, and the company employs more than 1,100 in those facilities.

slewis@detroitnews.com