Oakland County Man Wins $25,000 a Year for Life Playing Lucky For Life Game

Cliff Yaldo said winning $25,000 a year for life playing Lucky For Life is “the biggest relief of my life.”

Cliff Yaldo said winning $25,000 a year for life playing Lucky For Life is “the biggest relief of my life.”

A 26-year-old man said winning $25,000 a year for life playing the Michigan Lottery’s Lucky For Life game has brightened his future.

Cliff Yaldo, of West Bloomfield, described winning $25,000 a year for life as “the biggest relief of my life” when he visited Lottery headquarters to collect his prize. He matched the five white balls drawn – 08-28-35-38-45 – in Thursday’s Lucky For Life drawing to win his big prize.

“Knowing I have $25,000 coming each year is just such a relief. It’s hard to put into words what it means for me and my family, but it takes so much stress off my shoulders,” said Yaldo.

Yaldo bought his winning Lucky For Life ticket at the Livonia Liquor Shop, located at 28225 5 Mile Road in Livonia. His family has owned and operated the store for the past 11 years.

“As a family business, we all work very hard at the store and do a lot of Lottery business,” said Yaldo. “All three of my brothers and my parents were very excited for me when I won.”

Yaldo credits the store’s customers with alerting him that he might be the big winner.

“On Friday, players were coming in and telling us that the store had sold a winning Lucky For Life ticket,” said Yaldo. “I never in a million years expected it to be mine. I checked my ticket when I got home and went crazy. It’s such a surreal feeling to have won.”

Cliff Yaldo won $25,000 a year for life playing the Michigan Lottery's Lucky For Life game.

Cliff Yaldo won $25,000 a year for life playing the Michigan Lottery’s Lucky For Life game.

Yaldo will receive payments of $25,000 annually for 20 years or for life, whichever is greater. He could have chosen a one-time lump sum cash payment of $390,000.

Yaldo plans to use his winnings to take a trip and start saving for a wedding, and possibly a new home.

The Yaldo’s family business will receive a $2,000 bonus commission for selling the winning ticket and that money will be invested into the business, Yaldo said.

“Our store is well known in the area for carrying plenty of Michigan wine and craft beer products,” said Yaldo. “Word of our store selling a big winning ticket traveled fast, and we’ve had more people playing Lucky For Life at our store than ever before.”

Through the game’s first 14 draws, Michigan players have won more than $1.9 million playing Lucky For Life, including 14 $5,000 winners. Each Lucky For Life drawing is producing nearly 17,200 winners in Michigan, on average.

All told, Michigan players have bought more than 240,000 winning Lucky For Life tickets.

For just $2 per play, Lucky For Life gives Lottery players a chance to win prizes ranging from $3 to a lifetime of cash. To win the game’s top prize of $1,000 a day for life, players must match all five winning numbers ranging from 1 to 48, plus one Lucky Ball ranging from 1 to 18. Players who match all five winning numbers, but not the Lucky Ball, will win $25,000 a year for life. Lucky For Life drawings take place every Monday and Thursday at 10:35 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at Lottery retailers across the state.

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Wait Continues for $3.5 Million Lotto 47 Winner to Come Forward

Lotto 47 with EZMatchIs a Michigan Lottery player walking around without knowing they are a multi-millionaire? It’s possible.

One ticket matched the six Lotto 47 numbers drawn on Jan. 17 – 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.

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. Wednesday’s Lotto 47 jackpot is $2.45 million.

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Dearborn Heights Man Claims Final $40,000 Tax Free Raffle Top Prize

MSL's $40,000 Tax-Free RaffleNearly a year after the drawing, a Dearborn Heights man has come forward to claim the final $40,000 prize from the Michigan Lottery’s $40,000 Tax Free Raffle.

The player, who chose to remain anonymous, had raffle number 0334098 on a ticket he bought at the Kroger, located at 26400 Ford Road in Dearborn Heights.

A regular Lottery player, the man only recently learned of his big win.

“Whenever I buy tickets, I put them in my pockets and may not check them for a while,” said the player. “This ticket got shuffled around and I just found it in a stack of tickets on my dresser.”

Luckily for the player, he found his winning ticket before it expired. The $40,000 Tax Free Raffle drawing took place on April 15, 2014, and his ticket was due to expire in less than a month, on April 15, 2015.

After recently finding the stack of tickets, the man immediately began checking them and got the surprise of a lifetime.

“When I checked this ticket online, I was stunned,” said the player. “I checked my number at least five times before calling the Lottery.”

The lucky winner plans to invest his winnings.

Winning numbers for the Michigan Lottery’s $40,000 Tax Free Raffle were drawn on April 15, 2014. The drawing produced more than 68,000 winners, including: 13 $40,000 winners, 697 $100 winners, 25,256 $50 winners, and 42,353 $15 winners.

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Two Lucky Players Club Members Win V.I.P Experience for Detroit Pistons Game from Michigan Lottery

2014 Players Club LogoTwo lucky Michigan Lottery players are gearing up for V.I.P. treatment from the Detroit Pistons thanks to the Lottery’s Players Club.

Josh Clements, of Highland, and Laural Bonds, of Pontiac, each won a Detroit Pistons V.I.P. experience package from the Michigan Lottery’s Players Club.

Each lucky winner will receive:

  • Two lower bowl seats to the Detroit Pistons vs. Chicago Bulls game on March 21 at the Palace of Auburn Hills
  • A congratulatory phone call from a Detroit Pistons executive
  • A $250 “signing bonus” (paid in Visa gift cards)
  • Opportunity to act as an honorary captain and shake hands on the court with the captains of the Detroit Pistons and the Chicago Bulls prior to tipoff
  • Dinner for two in Club West prior to the game and Club access throughout the game
  • Overnight hotel accommodations

The Players Club is a free program that gives Lottery players the chance to accumulate points by entering codes from non-winning instant and draw game tickets. 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.

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

Kristin Higgins poses for a photo with Michigan State University basketball coach, Tom Izzo, after accepting her Excellence in Education Award from the Michigan Lottery.

Kristin Higgins poses for a photo with Michigan State University basketball coach, Tom Izzo, after accepting her Excellence in Education Award from the Michigan Lottery.

An Ingham County educator known for helping students learn and grow academically and personally through leadership challenges and community service projects has been honored with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.

The award winner, Kristin Higgins, teaches business/technology education, coaches water polo, and serves as the yearbook adviser at Mason High School, which is part of the Mason Public Schools.

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 Higgins will air Tuesday evening in Grand Rapids and Lansing and Thursday evening in Detroit.

Kristin Higgins talks with Michigan State University basketball coach, Tom Izzo, prior to accepting her Excellence in Education Award from the Michigan Lottery.

Kristin Higgins 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 Higgins at the Breslin Center and presented her with the award.

Higgins said her own positive experience as a student led her to a career in education.  “This career provides me with the opportunity to give back to students what I was given growing up.  I had a safe and nurturing learning environment that helped me develop my passion for service.’’

“Students are my motivation.  If I make a difference in a child’s life, I know this world can be a better place, even if it is just one student.  We can change the world one child at a time,” Higgins said, adding that working with students is her favorite part of being an educator.  “I enjoy interacting with students, watching them develop as individuals and hopefully playing a role in their development into contributing members of society.”

Higgins has been an educator for 12 years, all at the Mason High School. She earned a bachelor of science degree in business and chemistry education and a master of arts degree in educational leadership at Northern Michigan University.

The Excellence in Education award nomination, submitted by a colleague, described Higgins as a teacher who “cares about her students, but even more goes far above and beyond the normal duties of a teacher to improve not only the lives of her students but the community.”

“She has piloted and made successful courses focused on improving students. The main example of this is Leadership A and Leadership B. In Leadership A, she gives the students hands on experiences every day, forcing them out of their comfort zone and truly learning about themselves and how they interact with one another. Leadership B pushes them even farther, requiring that they take a leadership role on in organizing and running a community event. Her classes have been responsible for starting a school-wide academic assembly that recognizes academic accomplishments.  They also have brought Relay for Life to the school with a mini relay, and orchestrated a school-wide community service day where all students volunteered to make the school and local community a better place.”

The nomination went on to note that Higgins “spends many, many extra hours putting together an award-winning yearbook, year after year. She assists anyone and everyone that she can. She is such a staple and leader that without her many of the events at Mason High School would not occur or would fail.”

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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