Ingham County Man Wins $2 Million in $2,000,000 CA$H Instant Game

Winning $2,000,000 CA$H TicketAn Ingham County man filled his bank account with cash after winning $2 million playing the Michigan Lottery’s $2,000,000 CA$H instant game.

The player, who chose to remain anonymous, revealed a money bag symbol on his $2,000,000 CA$H ticket to win the game’s top prize. He bought his winning ticket at the Shell gas station, located at 1831 East Grand River in East Lansing.

The player chose to receive his prize as a one-time lump sum cash payment of about $1.3 million.

Players have won $82.6 million playing the popular $2,000,000 CA$H instant game since its launch in April 2014. Eight $10,000, 11 $5,000, and 39 $1,000 prizes remain in the $30 instant game.

For players interested in $30 instant games, the Lottery launched $100,000,000 Diamonds in September 2014. Each ticket gives players a chance to win prizes ranging from $30 to $4 million. Four $4 million prizes, 286 $4,000 prizes, and 6,371 $1,000 prizes remain.

Lottery instant game tickets may be purchased at retailers around the state.

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Montcalm County Man Wins $1 Million Powerball Prize

Winning Powerball TicketA Montcalm County dairy farm worker has plenty of moo-lah in his bank account after winning a $1 million Powerball prize.

Jeff Smith, of Stanton, retired the day he learned he had won $1 million playing Powerball.

“Even a month later, I’m still in disbelief,” said Smith. “I’m not sure it will sink in that I won $1 million until I get the check and put the money in the bank.”

Smith was standing in line at Zerka’s Party Store, located at 134 West Main Street in Stanton, when he had a lucky feeling.

“As I was going up to the register, I just thought ‘I ought to buy a couple of Powerball easy picks,’” said Smith. “I play the Lottery regularly, but may buy Powerball tickets once or twice a year. I’m not sure why I got that feeling, but I’m sure glad I did.”

Smith matched the five white balls drawn – 15-16-23-27-36 – on Jan. 17 to win $1 million.

The next day, Smith returned to Zerka’s Party Store to buy a cup of coffee and check his Lottery tickets, something he’d done many times before. This time, he got a very different result.

“When I scanned my ticket, the machine said to see the clerk. I told the clerk what the machine said and she told me the store had sold a $1 million winner,” said Smith. “As soon as I heard that, I signed the ticket, paid for my coffee and headed to a friend’s house to check my numbers.”

The friend confirmed the good news for Smith: he was a $1 million Powerball winner.

“I put the ticket in a safe while I got my affairs in order before coming to claim the prize,” said Smith.

Smith has had plenty of time to think about what he wants to do with his big winnings. He plans to pay off some debt, purchase a new truck, and enjoy some fishing in his retirement.

Smith remains unsure about when he will purchase another Powerball ticket.

“I’m not sure if I’ll be lucky enough to have lightning strike twice,” Smith said. “But then again, you never know when that lucky feeling is going to hit you.”

Players still have plenty of time to purchase tickets for tonight’s drawing. Lottery retailers throughout the state are selling Powerball tickets for the drawing until 9:45 p.m. Wednesday. Tonight’s jackpot is $50 million.

Powerball plays may be purchased for $2 each at Lottery retailers across the state. A “Power Play” option that multiplies non-jackpot prizes by up to five times may be added to any Powerball play for only $1.

The Powerball drawing takes place at 10:59 p.m. and may be watched live on the Lottery’s network of stations: WBKB-TV 11 (CBS), WDIV-TV 4 (NBC), WNEM-TV 5 (CBS), WXSP-TV (MyNetwork TV), WLAJ-TV 53 (ABC), WLUC-TV 6 (NBC/FOX) and WGTU-TV 29/WGTQ-TV 8 (ABC). Additionally, the drawing may be watched online at: http://www.powerballlive.com/powerball.

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Zeeland Man Wins $111,306 Club Keno The Jack Prize on Valentine’s Day

Tory Balulis won $111,306 playing Club Keno The Jack on Valentine's Day.

Tory Balulis won $111,306 playing Club Keno The Jack on Valentine’s Day.

A last minute invitation led a Zeeland man to a $111,306 Michigan Lottery prize.

Tory Balulis won the big prize playing Club Keno The Jack at Shot’s Grill, Pizzeria and Pub, located at 4259 Lake Michigan Drive in Grand Rapids. He won on Club Keno draw 1180192 by matching all eight of his The Jack numbers to the numbers drawn: 02-12-15-24-28-46-73-79.

“My heart was racing! I was shocked and in disbelief when I won,” said Balulis. “In fact, I didn’t even believe I had really won until I confirmed it the next day by watching the drawing on the Michigan Lottery mobile app.”

It was pure happenstance that Balulis found himself at Shot’s Grill Pizzeria and Pub on Valentine’s Day.

Tory Balulis' winning Club Keno The Jack ticket.

Tory Balulis’ winning Club Keno The Jack ticket.

“I invited my grandma to go to the casino with me on Saturday, but she was worried the roads were too slick. I also called a friend and asked them to go out and grab dinner at a local bar, but they couldn’t make it,” said Balulis. “Just when I was about to grab dinner, a friend texted me and told me to come up to Shot’s. I was just down the street so I made my way up there and the rest is history.”

Balulis is happy to have won Club Keno The Jack, and plans to be smart with his winnings.

“I’m very thankful to have won. I’m going to pay some bills, buy a new vehicle and invest the rest,” Balulis said.

The Jack is a Club Keno add-on game that players may add to their Club Keno wager for just $1 per draw. With The Jack, players get eight easy pick numbers to match to the Club Keno numbers drawn. Players may win prizes ranging from $1 to the jackpot. The jackpot starts at $10,000 and grows until it is won. To win the jackpot, players must match all eight numbers.

Club Keno may be played at the 11,000 Lottery retailers across the state. Drawings are every three and a half minutes. Results and live drawings may be found online at http://www.michiganlottery.com.

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Lansing Man Wins $100,000 Club Keno Prize from Michigan Lottery

Winning Club Keno TicketA Lansing man got the biggest Valentine’s Day gift of his life, winning $100,000 playing Club Keno from the Michigan Lottery.

The man, who chose to remain anonymous, matched 10 numbers – 07-11-15-18-23-24-37-46-64-67 – on draw number 1180058 to win Club Keno’s top prize of $100,000. He bought his winning ticket at the Colonial Bar, located at 3425 South Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Lansing.

One of the Lottery’s most popular games, Club Keno gives players 37 different ways to play and win. Players select up to 10 numbers to match from one to 80, with prize amounts determined based on the amount the player wagered. Club Keno may be played at Lottery retailers across the state. Drawings take place every three and a half minutes. Results and live drawings may be found online at www.michiganlottery.com.

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

Michelle U’Ren (center) poses for a photo with her husband, Ryan, and Michigan State University basketball coach Tom Izzo, after accepting her Excellence in Education Award from the Michigan Lottery.

Michelle U’Ren (center) poses for a photo with her husband, Ryan, and Michigan State University basketball coach Tom Izzo, after accepting her Excellence in Education Award from the Michigan Lottery.

An Ottawa County educator known for setting high expectations and standards for students and herself and inspiring students and colleagues to excel has been honored with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.

The award winner, Michelle U’Ren, is a fifth-grade teacher at the Pinewood Elementary School in Jenison.  The school is part of the Jenison 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 U’Ren will air this evening in Grand Rapids and Lansing and Thursday evening in Detroit.

Michelle U’Ren (right) talks with Michigan State University basketball coach Tom Izzo prior to accepting her Excellence in Education Award from the Michigan Lottery.

Michelle U’Ren (right) talks with Michigan State University basketball coach Tom Izzo prior to accepting her 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 U’Ren at the Breslin Center and presented her with the award.

U’Ren said that the opportunities to help students succeed attracted her to a career in education.  “I love the idea that I can play a role in shaping a student’s academic, personal and social life.  Knowing I can make a difference is empowering.”

“The relationships that I make are my favorite part about being an educator.  It’s wonderful to be able to create lasting relationships with students, collaborative relationships with parents, and partnerships with my colleagues,” she said, adding that her students motivate her to do her best every day in the classroom.

“I love seeing smiles on kids’ faces, seeing their eyes light up with excitement, hearing shouts of excitement when they are successful.  I go above and beyond to ensure my students have the very best experiences possible.”

U’Ren has been an educator for 13 years, the last 10 teaching fifth grade with the Jenison Public Schools. She earned a bachelor of arts degree from Alma College and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Grand Valley State University.

U’Ren was nominated for the Excellence in Education award by a colleague, who described her as “one of those truly exceptional teachers who makes us all a little better for having just known her. Michelle U’Ren is someone who changes lives and inspires students and teachers to do great things. We’ve all had that one teacher who helped shape our lives and helped us believe that we could be something more. For many people that teacher is Michelle U’Ren.

“Michelle is an inspirational teacher who can ignite the thrill of learning and also build a strong foundation of trust and relationships with her students and teachers.  Michelle is always going above and beyond to stay current in her teaching skills by going to conferences, joining webinars, and sharing ideas with teachers, and using these new ideas with her students. She is not loud or outspoken, but leads through quiet confidence.  The activities that she does with her class are new and innovative, but also demonstrate a high level of expectations and knowledge of the curriculum.  She really pushes students to their highest potential. She takes troubled students under her wing providing them with tough love,” the nomination said.

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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