Monroe man’s Mars lottery ticket a winner

The Martians are coming.

A mild-mannered software engineer from Monroe is responsible for the alien invasion.

Steve Jensen came up with “Life on Mars” last summer to win Washington’s Lottery “Design a Scratch Ticket” contest.

The $2 game he designed debuts Monday, with an orbital 1.2 million “Life on Mars” tickets printed.

The game has $1.4 million in prizes, including four with a $20,000 payout.

Scratch the red rocks. Find Martians. Win money.

The lottery kept Jensen’s extraterrestrial Red Planet theme, but gave it a glossy makeover. He said his original design was “more alien looking.”

“I’m not really an artist,” said Jensen, a Microsoft contractor and married father of two teenagers.

An occasional lotto player, he was checking the state lottery site for winning numbers last year when he saw the teaser for the online contest to design a scratch ticket.

“Some of the early entries were rather stupid looking,” he said.

So, he decided, why not give it a whirl?

“At the time NASA had landed their latest rover, Curiosity, on Mars,” said Jensen, a fan of “Star Trek” and “Dr. Who.”

“It took a couple hours. I knew what I wanted in my mind. I sat down at the computer, Googled for images of Mars and found one.”

He asked his friends to vote for him with the campaign promise: “If I win, I’ll buy you all a ticket.”

His design got 2,665 of 12,722 votes in the contest that had 151 entries.

Jensen’s name is displayed in the top corner of each “Life on Mars” ticket. He got bragging rites, but no cash prize out of the deal. He didn’t even get a free ticket.

The design win is actually costing him money.

“I have to buy tickets for all my friends,” he said.

Andrea Brown; 425-339-3443; abrown@heraldnet.com.

More in Local News

Agencies launch coordinated response to an opioid ‘emergency’

Health workers, law enforcement agencies and emergency managers are responding as they might to a disaster.

Jordan Evers distributes coffee Sunday afternoon during the annual community meal at Carl Gipson Senior Center in Everett on November 19, 2017. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Firefighters serve Thanksgiving meals at Carl Gipson center

The next two feasts at the senior center in Everett will be Thanksgiving Day and Dec. 3.

Hiker rescued on Boulder River trail after 15-foot fall

She was reported to have possible leg and rib fractures.

Alleged philanderer attacked with hammer near Everett

His girlfriend had accused him of cheating and allegedly called on another man to confront him.

Snohomish County Council passes a no-new-taxes budget

The spending plan still funds the hiring of five new sheriff’s deputies and a code enforcement officer.

Darrington School Board race might come down to a coin flip

With a one-vote difference, a single ballot in Skagit County remains to be counted.

In Sultan, there was a seat at the table for everyone

Every year, the town’s community dinner ensures no one has to dine alone on Thanksgiving.

Lynnwood officer’s fatal shooting of suspect ruled justified

A man had been harassing an ex-girlfriend, and when police went to investigate, he rushed them.

Most Read