Nation/World Briefs

US stocks close flat Friday after a volatile week U.S. stocks ended the day little changed Friday, letting investors breathe a little easier after a week where both the highs and lows were extreme. The market gave investors a hard jolt the first two days of trading this week on concerns about the health of China’s economy. The rebound Wednesday and Thursday was just as sharp as investors decided to scoop up beaten-up stocks. The relatively stable Friday trading offered the owners of bruised portfolios 0

Lottery sees impact of state’s first casino

BOSTON — With about three weeks worth of data in hand, Massachusetts Lottery officials said Thursday that they have already noticed an impact on state Lottery sales from Plainridge Park Casino. Plainridge, which offers slot machines and electronic table games, opened last month and Lottery officials have been monitoring sales at the 200 Lottery agents within a 15-minute drive of the Plainville facility, Interim Executive Director Michael Sweeney said. “We are still seeing strong numbers at retail agents such as convenience stores and gas stations 0

Lottery vs. casinos

BOSTON — Call it a clash of the state’s gambling titans. The middle-aged Massachusetts State Lottery is nervously looking over its shoulder to see if the state’s newborn casino industry will drain away some of the hundreds of millions it generates in profits each year for local cities and towns. While the lottery was poised to sell nearly $5 billion worth of tickets for the just-ended 2015 fiscal year — a record for the four-decade-old institution — the moneymaking machine is scanning the horizon for 0

Massachusetts Lottery on track to set sales record for year

BOSTON — The Massachusetts Lottery is on track to set a record, with sales closing in on $5 billion for the 2015 fiscal year that ends Tuesday. Officials said the final sales figure for the year will likely be just shy of that figure. As of Saturday, the lottery had tallied $4.97 billion in sales, topping the $4.86 billion it took in during the 2014 fiscal year. Profits — which are sent to cities and towns in the form of local aid — are estimated 0

T-wolves win draft lottery, Lakers move to No. 2

NEW YORK — The Minnesota Timberwolves won the NBA draft lottery Tuesday night, the first time since 2004 the team with the worst record won the No. 1 pick. After years of bad luck in the lottery, things finally worked out for the Wolves, who can perhaps choose between big men Karl-Anthony Towns of Kentucky and Jahlil Okafor of national champion Duke to put next to Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins. “We’re in this for big stakes,” said Flip Saunders, the Wolves’ president and 0

Food City sells winning $4.79M lottery ticket; third big jackpot in town since 2012

TURNERS FALLS — Someone who shops at Food City is a newly minted millionaire. A winning $4.79 million lottery ticket was sold by the Avenue A supermarket, although the winner hadn’t stepped forward by press time Thursday. The winning numbers were 5-7-11-36-46-49 in Wednesday night’s Megabucks Doubler drawing, according to the Massachusetts Lottery Commission. On Thursday morning, the Lottery Commission’s media office said the winner has a full year to claim the winnings. The store manager was equally in the dark. Food City, at 250 0

Out of the ordinary

Michigan Lottery drawings have some people seeing double LANSING, Mich. — One day’s Michigan Lottery drawings had some people seeing double. The winning numbers for the Midday Daily 4 on Thursday afternoon and the Daily 4 numbers drawn that evening were the same: zero, two, two and nine. “It’s one of those things that hasn’t happened in recent memory,” Michigan Lottery spokesman Jeff Holyfield said. “Sometimes you have coincidences like that.” He said 540 winning tickets were sold for the midday drawing and 650 for 0

New Hampshire Lottery releases bacon-scented ticket

CONCORD, N.H. — Lottery ticket buyers in New Hampshire who dream of bringing home the bacon now can smell it, too. The state lottery has released its first scratch-n-sniff “I Heart Bacon” ticket this month, which features a $1,000 grand prize. Lottery Commission Executive Director Charlie McIntyre says players “will think it’s time for Saturday morning breakfast.” To promote the ticket, the New Hampshire Lottery will be driving a “bacon truck,” handing out free applewood smoked bacon samples and tickets at stores in Keene and 0

Spain hands out $3B in planet’s biggest lottery

MADRID — Spaniards and Latin American immigrants who bought lottery tickets in an upper middle class Madrid neighborhood hit the jackpot on Monday, cracking open bottles of champagne on the streets as they celebrated winning $490,000 payoffs from a $3 billion pot of cash divided among thousands of ticketholders. More than 100 of the top winning tickets were sold in the downtown neighborhood, though 20 were also purchased in the southern city of Cadiz and a handful were sold in other cities across the nation. 0

State/Regional Briefs

Democrat Coakley unveils higher education proposal BOSTON — Democratic candidate for governor Martha Coakley says she wants to make higher education more affordable. Coakley unveiled a plan Thursday aimed at students who want to attend community college and can’t cover the expense with traditional financial aid. Under Coakley’s plan, the state would cover the balance of the tuition. Coakley said Massachusetts should also join 34 other states and establish a $5,000 tax deduction for families who make contributions to Massachusetts’ 529 college saving plan. The 0