Petoskey Woman Wins $25,000 a Year for Life Playing Michigan Lottery’s Lucky For Life Game

Irlene Gardner and her fiancee pose for a photo after collecting Gardner's first $25,000 payment.

Irlene Gardner and her fiancee pose for a photo after collecting Gardner’s first $25,000 payment.

A Petoskey woman can look forward to a lifetime of cash after winning $25,000 a year for life playing the Michigan Lottery’s Lucky For Life game.

Irlene Gardner matched the five white balls drawn on May 4 – 10-28-36-45-48 – to win the $25,000 a year for life prize. Gardner bought her winning ticket at the Meijer gas station, located at 2141 South U.S. 131 in Petoskey.

“We were stunned when we checked the ticket the next morning,” said Gardner while at Lottery headquarters with her fiancée. “We missed winning the game’s $1,000 a day for life top prize by just one number!”

Gardner and her fiancée recently welcomed a baby girl to their family, and discovered they were big winners during an early morning feeding.

“I was feeding my daughter about 5 the morning after the drawing and decided to check my ticket,” Gardner said. “For a minute I thought I was dreaming, I started yelling and woke my fiancée up. We both checked, and re-checked the ticket.

“Normally I put my daughter back to bed after she is done eating in the morning, but there was too much excitement to do that. We all stayed up and went to check the ticket at the Meijer gas station make sure we had a winner!”

The ticket scanner at the Meijer gas station confirmed the good news. The family hid the ticket in a jewelry box for safe keeping until heading to Lansing to collect their prize.

Gardner, 32, choose to receive payments of $25,000 annually for 20 years or for life, whichever is greater. She could have chosen a one-time lump sum cash payment of $390,000.

“I was planning to be a stay-at-home mother and this will take some of the financial pressure off our shoulders,” she said. “It’s just so comforting to know we will have this money coming every year.”

“It’s the best $2 investment we’ve ever made!” added Gardener’s fiancée.

Michigan players have won nearly $4.3 million so far playing Lucky For Life, including three $25,000 a year for life winners, and 21 $5,000 winners. Each Lucky For Life drawing is producing more than 15,000 winners on average in Michigan.

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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Monopoly Millionaires’ Club™ Instant Game Coming to Michigan

MI Monopoly Millionaires Club 740Michigan Lottery players soon will have a chance to win up to $300,000 and a trip to Las Vegas with the new Monopoly Millionaires’ Club instant game.

For just $5 per ticket, the new Monopoly Millionaires’ Club instant game gives players a chance to win prizes ranging from $5 up to $300,000. All told, the game features more than $12 million in prizes.

The Monopoly Millionaires’ Club game also features a second chance drawing that will give lucky players a chance to win a five-day, four-night trip for two to Las Vegas and an opportunity to compete for $1 million on a nationally syndicated game show. More than $2.5 million in prize money will be up for grabs in each hour-long show.

Players must enter ticket codes from their Monopoly Millionaires’ Club tickets at http://www.playmmc.com to be eligible for the second chance drawing.

The TV game show is hosted by “Mike and Molly” star Billy Gardell and may be viewed in Michigan on the following stations: WKBD (Detroit), WXMI (Grand Rapids), WHTV (Lansing), WSYM (Lansing), WBSF (Flint), WGTU (Traverse City), WJMN (Marquette), and WMKG (Muskegon). Air times vary, so players should check local listings for details.

Michigan is one of several states to offer a Monopoly Millionaires’ Club instant game, which replaces a previously offered draw game. Tickets for the game will be available to players across the state in early June.

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Lotto 47 Jackpot Climbs to $6.65 Million

Lotto 47 with EZMatchWith a jackpot of $6.65 million, tonight’s Lotto 47 drawing could fill up the bank account of a lucky Michigan Lottery player.

If a player wins Wednesday’s Lotto 47 jackpot, it would be the largest Lotto 47 jackpot won this year, and the largest won since 2013. It also would mark the third time the game’s jackpot has been won in 2015. To win the jackpot, players must match all six of the numbers drawn.

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 a $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 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 the 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, Unclaimed Prizes | Tagged , , , , ,

Detroit Teacher Wins 2015 Educator of the Year Award and $10,000 Prize From the Michigan Lottery’s Excellence in Education Program

Michael Craig (left) poses for a photo with his wife, Susie, and son, Andy, after accepting his Excellence in Education Educator of the Year award from Michigan State University basketball coach Tom Izzo.

Michael Craig (left) poses for a photo with his wife, Susie, and son, Andy, after accepting his Excellence in Education Educator of the Year award from Michigan State University basketball coach Tom Izzo.

A Detroit teacher has won the 2015 Educator of the Year award and a $10,000 prize from the Michigan Lottery’s Excellence in Education program, the Lottery announced today.

The award winner, Michael Craig, is a special education teacher at the Charles Drew Transition Center.  The school is part of the Detroit Public Schools district and serves about 600 young adults with special needs.

Craig is known for helping students develop functional skills through a horticulture program that contributes produce to the school cafeteria and also offers produce and fresh flowers for sale to parents and the local community at a school farm market.

Tom Izzo, the Michigan State University men’s basketball coach, presented the Educator of the Year trophy and a $10,000 check to Craig during a surprise event today at the Charles Drew Transition Center. About 40 colleagues, friends, and family members looked on as a stunned Craig accepted the check and a trophy.

Craig, who was clearly moved, said even though he received the award, the entire Charles Drew Transition Center faculty and staff deserved credit.  “It’s not only me.  It’s everyone here,” he said, gesturing to those in the crowded school auditorium.

The stakes couldn’t be higher for the students, he added. “For our students, this school and its programs give them a chance to have a life outside of school.  We all have a vested interest in this city and trying to make it better.  That’s our goal.”

Principal Robert Avedisian described Craig as “a teacher who has a vision and then puts an action plan in place to achieve it.  He is able to reach all students regardless of their disabilities.  Mr. Craig can stand proud because he has made a difference in the lives of our students.  All of the teachers at the Charles Drew Transition Center do phenomenal work with students.  This award for Michael Craig demonstrates that great things are happening at the Charles Drew Transition Center and the Detroit Public Schools.”

Clara Flowers, assistant superintendent of the Office of Specialized Student Services, congratulated Craig on winning the award.  “The Detroit Public Schools district is extremely proud of Michael Craig.  He is a creative teacher who cares about his students and their success,” she said.  “He provides our special education students of all disabilities with differentiated hands on – and minds on – lessons each day to provide them with an authentic learning experience.”

Michael Craig gives Michigan State University basketball coach, Tom Izzo, a tour of his horticulture class room at the Charles Drew Transition Center in Detroit.

Michael Craig gives Michigan State University basketball coach, Tom Izzo, a tour of his horticulture class room at the Charles Drew Transition Center in Detroit.

The Michigan Lottery established the Excellence in Education awards last year to recognize outstanding public school educators across the state. More than 500 educators from across the state were nominated and 34, including Craig, were selected to win a weekly award during the school year.

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

Each winner also was 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.

For the Excellence in Education program, the Lottery teamed up Izzo, who also met with the weekly award winners at the Breslin Center and presented them with their awards.

Craig has been an educator for 19 years, the last four at the Charles Drew Transition Center. He earned a bachelor of science degree in elementary education from Eastern Michigan University and master of arts degree in educational administration from Wayne State University.  He also holds additional certification in cognitive impairments education from Eastern Michigan University.

He was nominated for the Excellence in Education award by a colleague who wrote that Craig “sets the tone for our school with his professionalism, personal interest in the development of all students, and in his innovation and dedication to bringing the very best of instructional diversity in leading students to obtain knowledge and skill.”

The nomination period for the 2015-16 Excellence in Education program will open late this summer.

Outstanding public school educators may be nominated for an Excellence in Education award through the Michigan Lottery website, www.MichiganLottery.com, or through the websites of the Lottery’s media partner stations.

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 , , ,

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

Daniel Hensley poses for a photo with Michigan State University basketball coach, Tom Izzo, after accepting his Excellence in Education Award from the Michigan Lottery.

Daniel Hensley poses for a photo with Michigan State University basketball coach, Tom Izzo, after accepting his Excellence in Education Award from the Michigan Lottery.

A Kent County educator known for expanding learning beyond the classroom by providing his special education students with hands on experiences, such community projects and a student-run coffee shop, has been honored with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.

The award winner, Daniel Hensley, is a special education teacher at University Prep Academy in Grand Rapids.  The school is part of the Grand Rapids Public Schools district.

The Michigan Lottery 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 Hensley will air Tuesday evening in Grand Rapids and Lansing and Thursday evening in Detroit.

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

Daniel Hensley 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 with Hensley at the Breslin Center and presented him with the award.

Hensley said his favorite part of being an educator is helping students realize their worth and potential.  “I love helping kids who may not have great self-confidence see that they all have great things to offer and to find their talent.”

Choosing education as a career came naturally to Hensley.  “I have always enjoyed working with students as a coach, tutor, and in other roles.  I tended to be interested in helping students who struggled in one way or another.  Being an out-of-the-box thinker, I gravitated toward special education,” he said.

Hensley said his own experience as a student motivates him to give his best each day.  “I was the kid who was the square peg in a round hole.  I was fortunate to have great support from family, friends, and teachers.  It’s always been my goal to be that person in all my kids’ lives they can depend upon, the person who will believe in them and their potential for success.”

Hensley considers hands on experiences and getting students involved in their community to be key elements in helping students with learning challenges succeed. The hands on courses that he’s created for his students include a social problems course in which the students created a fund raising project and raised more than $2,000 for Mel Trotter’s Women’s and Children’s Shelter in Grand Rapids.

“Students created the campaign, raised the funds, researched and designed a room in the new shelter and then, with the help of parents and community members, purchased the materials and fully furnished the room, which still is being used today at the shelter,” he said.

The development of the student-run coffee shop, dubbed the Snack Attack Café, was designed to expose students to many essential aspects of business by running a business within the school. With the creative curriculum developed by Hensley, students learned “basic business skills from budgeting, purchasing, merchandising, accounting and handling personnel matters,” he said, adding that several area businesses supported the course and it provided valuable learning opportunities for the students.

Hensley said he’s also worked with DonorsChoose.org to obtain assistive technology to help students with disabilities overcome some of their learning challenges.  DonorsChoose.org allows public school teachers to create classroom project requests and visitors to the website pick the projects that they want to support.

Hensley has been an educator for 19 years, the past 15 with the Grand Rapids Public Schools.  He earned a bachelor of arts degree in communications from Hope College and a bachelor of science degree in psychology/special education from Grand Valley State University.  He currently is working toward a master’s degree in educational leadership from Capella University.

The Excellence in Education award nomination for Hensley described him as a teacher who “has always gone above and beyond for his students, especially in the expectation of achievement. He developed the first student-run coffee and snack shop, and using the Donors Choose program has acquired technology to help ensure student achievement and confidence.”

The nomination noted:  “Daniel has an engaging teaching style and uses great techniques and strategies. Many of his fellow teachers have learned a lot from him and have been strongly influenced by his positive attitude. He’s truly an unsung hero.”

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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