Michigan Lottery Expands Players Club to Include Online Games

2014 Players Club LogoThe Michigan Lottery’s Players Club is being expanded to include online games, offering players a new way to earn Players Club points.

Starting Wednesday, players of the Lottery’s online games automatically will begin earning Players Club points. Players will earn two points for each $1 spent on online games. Players Club points awarded for online game purchases will be added to player accounts within 48 hours of play. There is no limit on the number of Players Club points that players may earn through online game play.

Points will be awarded based on total online game tickets purchased per day. Players will be awarded only whole point totals.  All Players Club points are good for one year from the date they are posted to a player’s account.

The Players Club is a free program that gives Lottery players the chance to accumulate points by entering codes from non-winning instant, pull tab, and draw game tickets, and, starting Wednesday, through online game play. Points may be redeemed for entries into drawings for prizes and once-in-a-lifetime experiences or for merchandise, including Lottery free-play coupons.

Players may join the Players Club by visiting: www.michiganlottery.com/join_now.

Posted in Michigan Lottery, Online Games, Players Club | Tagged , , , ,

Kent County Educator Wins Excellence in Education Award from the Michigan Lottery

Jeremy Schnotala (center) poses for a photo with his friend and fellow educator, Kim Swiger, and Michigan State University basketball coach, Tom Izzo, after accepting his Excellence in Education Award from the Michigan Lottery.

Jeremy Schnotala (center) poses for a photo with his friend and fellow educator, Kim Swiger, and Michigan State University basketball coach, Tom Izzo, after accepting his Excellence in Education Award from the Michigan Lottery.

A Kent County educator known for sharing his love of theater and the English language in the classroom and inspiring students to take part in school and community theater projects has been honored with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.

The award winner, Jeremy Schnotala, teaches English, speech, creative writing and theater at Wyoming Junior High School, which is part of the Wyoming Public Schools district.

The Michigan Lottery recently established the Excellence in Education awards to recognize outstanding public school educators across the state during the school year.

Winners of the weekly award receive a plaque, a $500 cash prize, and a $500 grant to their classroom, school or school district.  One of the weekly winners will be selected as the Educator of the Year and will receive a $10,000 cash prize.

Each winner also is featured in a news segment on the Lottery’s media partner stations:  WXYZ-TV in Detroit, FOX 17 in Grand Rapids, and FOX 47 in Lansing. The news segment featuring Schnotala will air Tuesday evening in Grand Rapids and Lansing and Thursday evening in Detroit.

Jeremy Schnotala talks with Michigan State University basketball coach, Tom Izzo, prior to accepting his Excellence in Education Award from the Michigan Lottery.

Jeremy Schnotala talks with Michigan State University basketball coach, Tom Izzo, prior to accepting his Excellence in Education Award from the Michigan Lottery.

For the Excellence in Education awards program, the Lottery has teamed up with Michigan State University basketball coach Tom Izzo.  Izzo met recently with Schnotala at the Breslin Center and presented him with the award.

Schnotala said he was attracted to a career in education because of the opportunities to “help students grow and through education change their lives and their futures.”

“I really enjoy working with students in class and in the extracurricular theater program. I direct a musical, a play, and a talent show each year and I enjoy it more every year,” he said.

Schnotala said his students motivate him to make an extra effort every day.  “The challenges in education have grown every year and those challenges motivate me to push harder.  It’s not easy:  fighting lack of funding, poverty, unmotivated students, but that extra effort to make a difference in a student’s life is what really matters.”

Schnotala has been an educator for 21 years with the Wyoming Public Schools, 18 years with Wyoming Park High School and the last three at Wyoming Junior High School after the two merged.  He earned a bachelor of arts degree in English, speech, and German from Calvin College and a master of arts degree in English education from Western Michigan University. He currently is working on an MFA in creative writing at Western Michigan.

Several people nominated Schnotala for the Excellence in Education award. The nomination from a former student described him as “an absolutely wonderful teacher.  Not only does he teach English in a way that keeps kids interested, he goes about it in a fun way. From choosing wonderful books for his honors class, to creating silly activities, to making them memorize and act out an entire scene of Shakespeare on a stage, to celebrating Shakespeare’s birthday in class. Somehow, through the fun, the learning is immense.”

The nomination noted that Schnotala is “a true thespian at heart. His classroom is so full of props, books, posters, and gifts from students that it creates an interesting learning environment. It also doubles as a rehearsal space for the theater company. He’s a leader in the school and out. A director for the hugely successful and dedicated local theater company, which puts up astounding productions year after year, to doing community outreach with the theater company, such as providing Christmas presents or meals for families in need throughout the community.”

Schnotala said his work with the Wyoming Theater Company is based on a motto that he learned from his theater professors at Calvin College:  “Theater is community.”

“We usually have 50 to 80 students, grades eight through 12 in the program.  The students and their families work with me to build EVERYTHING ourselves, all of our costumes and props on top of all the acting, singing, dancing, and technical equipment,” he said. “We put in about three to four months preparing each show and raise all our funds — $20,000 or more — to produce each production with a lot of community donations and support to make that happen.

“We build a community together, share our talent with our own community and also reach out and help those in need each year,” Schnotala said. “For the students involved in the program, the theater company becomes a second family, our family.  We laugh together, cry together, learn and grow as we work toward whatever performance we are staging.  For most of the students, their greatest memories of their time in school come from the experiences they’ve had with their theater family.  And for me, I have a lifetime of those memories as well.”

The Wyoming Theater Company recently staged “Nunsense, the Mega Musical” at the Dan Heintzleman Auditorium.

Excellence in Education award nominees are evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Excellence – Their work consistently helps students and/or their schools or school districts advance to higher levels of academic achievement.
  • Dedication – They consistently go above and beyond expectations to help students succeed.
  • Inspiration – Their work inspires others around them to exceed expectations either academically or professionally.
  • Leadership – They demonstrate clear leadership skills in their positions with their school or school districts
  • Effectiveness – The nominee’s work has clear and positive results on the educational advancement of students within the school or school district.
Posted in Excellence in Education Awards, Michigan Lottery | Tagged , , ,

Lotto 47 Jackpot Tops $3 Million

Lotto 47 with EZMatchMichigan Lottery players have a chance to become a multi-millionaire by playing the Lotto 47 game.

The Lotto 47 jackpot has climbed to $3.05 million for Saturday night’s drawing. To win the jackpot, players must match all six of the numbers drawn.

If a player wins Saturday’s Lotto 47 jackpot, it would mark the third time the game’s jackpot has been won in 2015. It also would be the second largest jackpot won in the game this year.

In January, the Lotto 47 jackpot was won twice, with the big wins coming just a week apart.

On Jan. 17, one ticket matched the six Lotto 47 numbers drawn – 04-06-16-26-33-36 – to win the game’s $3.5 million jackpot. The winning ticket was bought at the Pellston General Store, located at 45 North U.S. 31 in Pellston. One week later, a lucky player matched the six winning Lotto 47 numbers drawn Jan. 24 – 02-04-14-17-27-30 – to win a $1 million jackpot. That ticket was bought at the E&A Pit Stop, located at 5586 East Apple Avenue in Muskegon.

The winner of the $3.5 million Lotto 47 jackpot from Jan. 17 has yet to come forward. The winning ticket holder should contact the Michigan Lottery Public Relations Division at (517) 373-1237 to schedule an appointment to collect their big prize. The prize must be claimed at the Lottery’s headquarters in Lansing. Tickets for Lotto 47 are valid for one year from the drawing date.

Each Lotto 47 play is only $1. Players select six numbers from one to 47 for a chance to win a jackpot starting at $1 million and that grows until someone wins it. For an additional $1 per game, players may add EZMatch to their ticket for a chance to win up to $500 instantly. Lotto 47 drawings take place on Wednesday and Saturday at 7:29 p.m. Tickets may be purchased until 7:08 p.m. on the day of the drawing.

Posted in Classic Lotto 47, Michigan Lottery | Tagged , , , ,

Oakland County Educator Wins Excellence in Education Award from the Michigan Lottery

Eric Williams (second from left) poses for a photo with his nephews, Nick Dodge (left), Jack Dodge (right), and Michigan State University basketball coach, Tom Izzo, after accepting his Excellence in Education Award from the Michigan Lottery.

Eric Williams (second from left) poses for a photo with his nephews, Nick Dodge (left), Jack Dodge (right), and Michigan State University basketball coach, Tom Izzo, after accepting his Excellence in Education Award from the Michigan Lottery.

An Oakland County educator known for using field trips and other activities to help prepare special education students for life outside school has been honored with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.

The award winner, Eric Williams, is a special education teacher at Muir Middle School in Milford.  Muir Middle School is part of the Huron Valley Schools district.

The Michigan Lottery recently established the Excellence in Education awards to recognize outstanding public school educators across the state during the school year.

Winners of the weekly award receive a plaque, a $500 cash prize, and a $500 grant to their classroom, school or school district.  One of the weekly winners will be selected as the Educator of the Year and will receive a $10,000 cash prize.

Each winner also is featured in a news segment on the Lottery’s media partner stations:  WXYZ-TV in Detroit, FOX 17 in Grand Rapids, and FOX 47 in Lansing. The news segment featuring Williams will air Tuesday evening in Grand Rapids and Lansing and Thursday evening in Detroit.

Eric Williams talks with Michigan State University basketball coach, Tom Izzo, prior to accepting his Excellence in Education Award from the Michigan Lottery.

Eric Williams talks with Michigan State University basketball coach, Tom Izzo, prior to accepting his Excellence in Education Award from the Michigan Lottery.

For the Excellence in Education awards program, the Lottery has teamed up with Michigan State University basketball coach Tom Izzo.  Izzo met recently with Williams at the Breslin Center and presented him with the award.

Williams said he planned to pursue a career in communications until he started working as a substitute teacher.  “I absolutely loved being in the classroom. I feel like I have been able to make a difference in the lives of all my students,” he said.

“My students motivate me to make an extra effort every day.  I do a lot of different things outside of teaching.  I make sure they have lunch, clean clothes, and much more.  I have even been able to get a few students jobs once they were in high school,” Williams said, adding that his favorite part of being an educator is “seeing the growth in my students from sixth grade through eighth grade.  My students and I have fun in the classroom. Each day that I come to work is a new experience. I love my students and my job.  ”

Williams has been an educator for 15 years and has taught at Muir Middle School for the past 10 years.  He earned a bachelor’s degree in communication from Michigan State University and a master’s degree in cognitive impairment at Eastern Michigan University.  He also has studied history and obtained his teaching certificate through Madonna University.

The Excellence in Education award nomination described Williams as a teacher who “has changed the lives of his current and former students. Besides educating and teaching students in the classroom Eric takes his students on many community outings to malls, restaurants, movies, and museums to ready them for the real world. Eric has Thanksgiving in his classroom every year at Muir Middle School for all the special education students and their families. Eric and the other staff members cook the turkeys and the students help out with the side dishes and more than 100 people attend.”

The nomination also noted that Williams has “been active, for many years, in Special Olympics and has a fundraiser, called the Hawkeye Hike, to raise money for special education needs.”

Excellence in Education award nominees are evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Excellence – Their work consistently helps students and/or their schools or school districts advance to higher levels of academic achievement.
  • Dedication – They consistently go above and beyond expectations to help students succeed.
  • Inspiration – Their work inspires others around them to exceed expectations either academically or professionally.
  • Leadership – They demonstrate clear leadership skills in their positions with their school or school districts
  • Effectiveness – The nominee’s work has clear and positive results on the educational advancement of students within the school or school district.
Posted in Excellence in Education Awards, Michigan Lottery | Tagged , , ,

Wayne County Man Wins $105,000 Prize Playing Michigan Lottery’s Fantasy 5 Game

Dean Reitenga won $105,000 playing Fantasy 5 has big plans for his prize.

Dean Reitenga won $105,000 playing Fantasy 5 and has big plans for his prize.

A Wayne County man plans to buy a new home and put a new truck in the garage after winning $105,000 playing the Michigan Lottery’s Fantasy 5 game.

The winner, Dean Reitenga, of Belleville, matched all five Fantasy 5 numbers – 05-08-11-20-24 – drawn Sunday evening.

Reitenga bought his ticket at a Melvindale store, Gleno’s Market at 2955 Oakwood Boulevard.

He checked the drawing results using the Michigan Lottery’s mobile app and found that the numbers he selected had won the big prize. After making that pleasant discovery, Reitenga didn’t take any chances with the winning ticket.  “I kept it close at all times,” he said.

Reitenga claimed his prize at Lottery headquarters on Thursday and said he planned to use his winnings to make a down payment on a new house, buy a new truck, and pay off some debt.

Each Fantasy 5 play is only $1. For an additional $1 per play, EZmatch may be added to a Fantasy 5 ticket, giving players a chance to win up to $500 instantly. Fantasy 5 players select five numbers from one to 39. Players who match all five Fantasy 5 numbers drawn win a jackpot guaranteed to start at $100,000.

Posted in Fantasy 5, Michigan Lottery, Winners Gallery | Tagged , , , , ,