Saginaw Woman Plans Special Birthday After Winning $100,000 Playing Michigan Lottery’s $100 Grand Cashword Game

Samantha Midcalf-Gulliver of Saginaw plans special birthday after winning $100,000 playing Michigan Lottery’s  $100 Grand Cashword Game.

Samantha Midcalf-Gulliver of Saginaw plans special birthday after winning $100,000 playing Michigan Lottery’s $100 Grand Cashword Game.

A Saginaw woman plans to have a special birthday this weekend after winning $100,000 playing the Michigan Lottery’s $100 Grand Cashword instant game.

The winner, Samantha Midcalf-Gulliver, first thought she’d won $1,000 with nine words on her $100 Grand Cashword ticket.  When she checked with a retailer, she found that she had 10 words and had won one of the top prizes for the $3 game.

“I was shocked.  I was excited about winning $1,000, but when I found out that I’d won $100,000, it was unbelievable,” she said. “My birthday is coming up Sunday and it’s so great that I won this big prize right before my birthday.”

Midcalf-Gulliver said she’s an avid Cashword and Bingo instant game player. Until buying the big winner Wednesday evening, the biggest prizes she’d won previously were $100.  She purchased her winning ticket at the Tustin EZ Mart, located at 20027 N. Mackinaw Trail, in Tustin.

Midcalf-Gulliver came to Lottery headquarters on Thursday to claim her $100,000 prize and said she plans to pay off her car loan and pay some other bills.  She wasn’t sure exactly how she’ll celebrate her 24th birthday on Sunday “but it’s going to be something special.”

Players have won nearly $21.7 million playing the popular $100 Grand Cashword game, which was launched on Dec. 2, 2014.  Each $3 ticket offers players a chance to win prizes ranging from $3 to $100,000.  More than $4.6 million in prizes remain in the $100 Grand Cashword game, including one $100,000 top prize and 39 $1,000 prizes.

Lottery instant games may be purchased at 11,000 retailers across the state.

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Michigan Lottery Contributes Record $795.5 Million To School Aid Fund in 2015, Pushing Total Contributions to More Than $19.6 Billion

School Aid FundThe Michigan Lottery contributed a record $795.5 million to the state School Aid Fund in 2015, pushing its total support for public education since 1972 to more than $19.6 billion.

The previous record contribution from the Lottery was $778.4 million in 2012.  The 2015 fiscal year contribution marked the ninth straight year that the Lottery has provided $700 million or more for education in Michigan.  For that nine-year span, the Lottery’s contributions total $6.7 billion.

The Michigan Lottery set several major records in 2015:

  • $2.8 billion in player purchases, eclipsing the previous mark of $2.6 billion from 2014
  • Instant game purchases topped $1 billion for the first time
  • $1.7 billion in prizes to players, surpassing the previous record of $1.6 billion in 2014
  • $203.6 million in commissions to retailers, breaking the previous mark of $188.5 million set in 2014

For each dollar spent on a Michigan Lottery ticket in 2015:

  • 29 cents went to the School Aid Fund
  • 61 cents went to prizes for players
  • 7 cents went to commissions for retailers, many of them family-owned businesses
  • 3 cents support the Lottery’s ongoing operations and administrative costs

Under state law, all net proceeds from Michigan Lottery games go to the state School Aid Fund.  The Lottery contributions comprise about 6.5 percent of the fund.

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Lottery Offices Closed in Observance of Presidents’ Day

In observance of Presidents’ Day, the Michigan Lottery headquarters in Lansing and all Lottery regional offices located in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Livonia, Saginaw and Sterling Heights will be closed on Monday.

All regularly scheduled drawings will continue on Monday.

The bank claim centers that the Michigan Lottery has partnered with may have office hours on Monday, however, they won’t be able to process a claim, because the Lottery offices will be closed.

All Lottery offices will reopen on Tuesday at 7:45 am.

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

Trisha Wellock poses for a photo with her husband, Andrew, and colleague, Tom Timmer (far left), after accepting her Excellence in Education award from Michigan State University basketball coach Tom Izzo.

Trisha Wellock poses for a photo with her husband, Andrew, and colleague, Tom Timmer (far left), after accepting her Excellence in Education award from Michigan State University basketball coach Tom Izzo.

An Oakland County educator known for finding new and innovative ways to encourage students to develop their math skills and helping to develop advanced math courses for her school has been honored with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.

The award winner, Trisha Wellock, teaches sixth-grade math and science at Novi Meadows Elementary School, which is part of the Novi Community School district.

The Michigan Lottery established the Excellence in Education award program in 2014 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 will be 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 Wellock will air this evening in Grand Rapids and Lansing and then on Thursday in Detroit.

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

Wellock said her favorite parts of being an educator are “forming relationships with my students in the classroom and watching them enjoy learning and succeeding in the classroom.  And it’s also great to have students come back and visit or send an email just because they miss you.”

She said her students motivate her to do her best each day.  “It’s very rewarding when I hear my students say things such as: ‘I hated math and now math is now my favorite subject.’ ‘I want to be a teacher when I get older.’ Or my favorite: ‘You are like my second mom.’”

Wellock said she knew she wanted to be a teacher from an early age. “When my younger sisters and I would ‘play school,’ I would always be the teacher.” She added that desire was reinforced by her former teachers and the experience of coaching soccer in her community. Wellock was named the 2011 Michigan Competitive Soccer Coach of the Year by the Michigan State Youth Soccer Association.

Trisha Wellock talks with Michigan State University basketball coach, Tom Izzo, after accepting her Excellence in Education award.

Trisha Wellock talks with Michigan State University basketball coach, Tom Izzo, after accepting her Excellence in Education award.

A colleague nominated Wellock for the Excellence in Education award and described her as “one of the most involved teachers in our district.”

“As one of our district Content Area Leaders, she has been responsible for the implementation of our new sixth-grade math curriculum, and has been heavily involved in developing two advanced math courses for students by coordinating instructional expectations with our middle schools teachers,” the nomination said.

“She also has volunteered to run math competitions in our building so groups of our students can try out for a team that has been in the top five at a national level. Mrs. Wellock is one of the lead organizers in an activity called ‘Math Boot Camp.’ During this extra-curricular event students work on math skills and then go train to run a five-kilometer race. Mrs. Wellock raises money through local businesses and families to allow students to participate in the before and after school program for free.  Students not only accomplish running a 5K race, but we also have seen an increase in math scores in the classroom.

“Outside of school Trisha coaches soccer and has made so many personal connections with families that she is one of the most known and liked teachers in the building. Trisha Wellock is deserving of this award for her dedication in school, her willingness to develop extra opportunities for students, and her commitment to building strong community bonds.”

Wellock has been an educator for 10 years, the last five with the Novi Community School District.  She earned two degrees from Eastern Michigan University:  A bachelor of arts degree in elementary education and a master of science degree in kindergarten-through-12th grade school administration.  She also played soccer for Eastern Michigan.

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.
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Michigan Lottery Super Bowl Ad to Kick Off Three Weeks of Online Games Advertising

2-4-2016 9-34-51 AMThe Michigan Lottery will use its first Super Bowl ad to kick off three weeks of advertising to promote the online games that it offers to players.

The 30-second ad focuses on how players may use their smartphones, tablets, and computers to play the games. The ad will be shown twice during the game in the Detroit, Grand Rapids, Lansing and Flint markets and once in the Traverse City market.  The cost for the Super Bowl ads is about $216,000.

After the Super Bowl premiere, the ad and variations of the ad will be aired on TV and radio stations around the state.

To view the ad, visit

Michigan Lottery players have a chance to win up to $1 million instantly playing online.  Through its online platform, the Lottery offers players more than 30 different games with plays ranging in price from 5 cents to $20.  The Lottery added four draw games – Powerball, Mega Millions, Lotto 47, and Fantasy 5 – to its online offerings in January.

More than 246,000 players have registered to play the Lottery’s online games, which were launched in 2014. For more information or to play online, visit

The Lottery projects that the online games will provide an additional $480 million for the state School Aid Fund in their first eight years.  By state law, all net proceeds from Lottery games go to the School Aid fund.  In the 2015 fiscal year, the Lottery contributed a record $795.5 million to the fund, which supports public education in Michigan.

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