Oakland County Man Wins $500,000 Playing $500,000 Gold Rush Instant Game

An Oakland County man has a clerk at a Speedway gas station to thank after winning $500,000 playing the Michigan Lottery’s $500,000 Gold Rush instant game.

The 69-year-old player, who chose to remain anonymous, bought his winning ticket at the Speedway gas station, located at 9601 Highland Road in White Lake.

“I stopped in for a coffee and asked for a different instant game,” said the player. “The clerk told me they didn’t have that ticket, and suggested the $500,000 Gold Rush game. I almost picked a different game, but I decided to go with Gold Rush and it’s the best decision I’ve ever made.”

After scratching the ticket off, the player wasn’t sure if he was reading it correctly so he asked his son to take a look at the ticket.

“My eyes aren’t the greatest and I didn’t have my glasses, so I really wasn’t sure if I was seeing everything on the ticket right,” said the player. “I asked my son to take a look and he told me to call my other sons and tell them it was time to leave work for the day and go golfing!”

Winning the big prize came at a great time for the player, who has fallen on some hard times recently and been living with his sons.

The player visited Lottery headquarters today to claim his big prize. With his winnings, he plans to help some family members, invest in his sons’ construction business, and then save the remainder.

“I am looking forward to helping some people better their lives. My family has always done right by people, and I think this is karma catching up with us,” the player said.

Players have won more than $2.6 million playing $500,000 Gold Rush, which launched earlier this month. Each $5 ticket offers players a chance to win prizes ranging from $5 up to $500,000. More than $40 million in prizes remain, including three $500,000 top prizes, nine $10,000 prizes, and 19 $1,000 prizes.

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

In 2016, Lottery players won nearly $817 million playing instant games.

Posted in Instant Games, Michigan Lottery, Winners List | Tagged , , , , , ,

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

Sirrita Darby poses for a photo after accepting her Excellence in Education award from Michigan State University basketball coach Tom Izzo.

Sirrita Darby poses for a photo after accepting her Excellence in Education award from Michigan State University basketball coach Tom Izzo.

A Wayne County educator known for her dedication to help students develop academically and personally and for serving as a mentor to help them succeed in the future has been honored with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.

The award winner, Sirrita Darby, teaches humanities at the middle school of the Detroit Leadership Academy, which is a free public charter school academy.  It has nearly 600 students from pre-kindergarten through high school.

The Michigan Lottery established the Excellence in Education awards 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 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 Darby 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, who presented Darby with the award at the Breslin Center.

Darby said she was attracted to a career in education by her passion “to help in the fight to close our nation’s achievement gap. Education builds bridges and close gaps that have for far too long stood in the way of our country’s advancement.”

She said her favorite part of being an educator is “building impactful relationships with my students and empowering them to use education as a means of liberation and personal growth and achievement.”

Darby said she’s motivated to do her best in the classroom every day “for my kids.  I know going that extra mile for my kids will directly support their academic and personal growth.”

The Excellence in Education award nomination for Darby described her as making “a lasting impact on her students since the moment she set foot on the campus of the Detroit Leadership Academy.”

The nomination noted that she helps run the school’s after-school program, the parent engagement center, and foregoes her classroom preparation time to serve as a mentor to an all-boys group and help them develop the tools they need to be successful in the future.

“She has a great rapport with her students and the culture within her classroom is welcoming and communal.  In just one semester, her students gained an average of 1.5 years in reading skills,” it said.

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

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

“But Ms. Darby is committed to teaching her students not just academics but character as well. She frequently rewards students for being the best they can be.  Ms. Darby is fully committed to closing our nation’s achievement gap and making a change in public education in America and first she wants to start with the city that made her who she is today, Detroit.

“She believes all children should be encouraged by their teachers regardless of the area code in which they live and she feels called to return the privilege that was afforded to her by her education. Ms. Darby’s students are growing in their increased access to pathways, relationships, and resources that are important to their pursuit of their futures.”

Darby earned a bachelor’s degree in social relations and policy from Michigan State University and a master’s degree in educational studies from the University of Michigan.  She has been an educator for three years, the last two at the Detroit Leadership Academy.

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 , , ,

Macomb County Woman Wins $100,792 Home Run Riches Jackpot from the Michigan Lottery

A lifelong love for baseball and a convincing clerk led to a Macomb County woman winning a $100,792 Home Run Riches jackpot from the Michigan Lottery.

The lucky player, who chose to remain anonymous, bought her winning ticket at the BP gas station, located at 40375 Utica Road in Sterling Heights.

“I stopped at the BP to grab a drink and a quick snack while I was waiting for my daughter,” said the player. “I had been wanting to buy a ticket for the Home Run Riches raffle and started talking with the clerk about the game.

“At first, I was going to buy just five tickets, but the clerk told me I should buy 40 for $100. The whole time we were talking, I kept hearing my mom’s voice telling me: ‘Scared money don’t make money.’ I thought it might be a sign, so I bought 40 tickets.”

When the 47-year-old player visited MichiganLottery.com to check her ticket after the drawing, she was stunned.

“I was positive I was misreading something, so I called for my daughter,” said the player. “When she looked and told me I was the winner I couldn’t believe it.

“I told her the first thing we’ll do when I get the check is have a girl’s day and get mani-pedis!”

The player visited Lottery headquarters Monday to claim her prize. In addition to a day of pampering, the player plans to buy a new vehicle and pay off some bills.

An online version on the Home Run Riches game is available at MichiganLottery.com. Fans will have a chance to win up $60,000 playing Home Run Riches online. Players will earn one entry into an online bonus drawing each day they play the game within each entry period. Bonus drawings will award 2017 World Series trips for two, and Detroit Tigers 2018 season ticket packages for two. Entry periods and drawing dates are:

  • April 25 – May 29 (Draw Date: May 31)
  • May 30 – July 5 (Draw Date: July 7)
  • July 6 – August 7 (Draw Date: August 9)

Major League Baseball trademarks and copyrights are used with permission of the applicable MLB® entity. All rights reserved.

Posted in Home Run Riches, Michigan Lottery, Raffles, Winners List | Tagged , , , , ,

Macomb County Man Wins $149,855 Club Keno The Jack Prize from the Michigan Lottery

Kurt VanDrus smiles after claiming a $149,855 Club Keno The Jack prize.

Kurt VanDrus smiles after claiming a $149,855 Club Keno The Jack prize.

A Macomb County man has his wife’s intuition to thank for winning a $149,855 Club Keno The Jack prize.

Kurt VanDrus, 58, won the big prize when his easy pick The Jack numbers – 05-24-33-42-51-53-57-60 – matched eight of the 20 Club Keno numbers drawn in draw 1458573 on Saturday. He bought the winning ticket at The Aspen, located at 20333 Hall in Macomb.

“My wife and I didn’t have much going on Saturday, so we went up to the Aspen to grab a bite to eat and play Club Keno,” said VanDrus. “We watched The Jack keep getting higher and higher, and my wife said ‘We need to start playing that.’”

That suggestion led VanDrus to buy a Club Keno ticket with The Jack for the first time ever.

“Our first ticket with The Jack didn’t hit anything, but we decided to play one more,” said VanDrus. “We watched the numbers come in and started shaking as soon as we realized we’d won The Jack. I had to order an extra beer to celebrate!”

VanDrus visited Lottery headquarters Wednesday to claim the big prize. With his winnings, he plans to take his family on a vacation and then invest the remainder.

Kurt VanDrus's winning Club Keno The Jack ticket.

Kurt VanDrus’s winning Club Keno The Jack ticket.

“This is still so unbelievable, this kind of stuff just doesn’t happen to us. Wow!” VanDrus said.

The Jack is a Club Keno add-on game that players may add to their Club Keno wager for as little as $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 take place every three and a half minutes. Results and live drawings may be found online at http://www.michiganlottery.com.

In 2016, Lottery players won about $412.5 million playing Club Keno, The KICKER, and The Jack.

Posted in Club Games, Club Keno, Michigan Lottery, The Jack, Winners Gallery, Winners List | Tagged , , , , ,

$105,000 Fantasy 5 Jackpot Winning Ticket Expires; Prize Goes to State School Aid Fund

A $105,000 Fantasy 5 jackpot winning ticket expired today and the prize went to the state School Aid Fund.

The ticket, which expired at 4:45 p.m., was sold at the Bay Road Express Stop, located at 2791 Bay Road in Saginaw. The winning ticket matched the numbers drawn: 02-07-15-21-25.

Fantasy 5 tickets are valid for one year from the date of the drawing.

It was the first major Michigan Lottery draw game prize to go unclaimed in 2017.

The record for an unclaimed Lottery prize in Michigan is $34 million. It was set in 1998, when a winning Michigan Lotto game ticket, sold at the Meijer located at 1350 West Lake Lansing Road in East Lansing, went unclaimed.

Posted in Fantasy 5, Michigan Lottery, Unclaimed Prizes | Tagged , , , , ,