Three Michigan Lottery Players Win Opportunity to Play the BILLION DOLLAR CHALLENGE™

Three lucky Michigan Lottery players are headed to Las Vegas to take part in the BILLION DOLLAR CHALLENGE™ after winning the GOLDEN TICKET™ II second chance drawing.

The lucky winners are:

  • David Arthur, of Grosse Isle
  • Kristopher Bovee, of Saginaw
  • Candace Johnson, of Southfield

Each lucky player will have the opportunity to play the BILLION DOLLAR CHALLENGE™ and a chance to win up to $1 billion. Each player and a guest will receive deluxe hotel accommodations for four days and three nights, round-trip airfare for two, ground transportation to and from the Las Vegas airport and hotel, and $1,000 spending money.

Each $10 GOLDEN TICKET™ II ticket offers players 20 chances to instantly win prizes ranging from $10 up to $1 million. Players have won more than $22 million playing GOLDEN TICKET™ II. More than $32 million in prizes remain, including two $1 million top prizes and 36 $10,000 prizes.

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

In 2017, Lottery players won more than $960 million playing instant games.

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

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

Kaitlin Merpi (right) poses for a photo with Michigan Lottery public relations director, Jeff Holyfield, after accepting her Excellence in Education Award.

Kaitlin Merpi (right) poses for a photo with Michigan Lottery public relations director, Jeff Holyfield, after accepting her Excellence in Education Award.

A Kent County educator known for using technology and activities, including robotics and an online math club, to instill a love of math and science in her students and for sharing her expertise with colleagues has been honored with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.

The award winner, Kaitlin Merpi, teaches fourth grade at Lakeside Elementary, which is part of the East Grand Rapids Public Schools. Merpi attended Lakeside Elementary as a child and was nominated for the Excellence in Education award by a colleague who was teaching at the school when she was a student.

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 $1,500 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, FOX 47 in Lansing, and WNEM-TV in Saginaw. The news segment featuring Merpi will air this evening in Grand Rapids and Lansing, and then on Thursday in Saginaw and Detroit.

Merpi said a teacher inspired her to pursue a career in education.  “I’ve wanted to be a teacher since the first grade.  My first grade teacher made me excited to come to school every day and I wanted to be that person for my students.”

She said her favorite part of being a teacher is “spending every day with kids! I love inspiring kids to love learning and showing them that it can be fun.”

Merpi said that her students motivate her to do her best every day.  “As an educator, it is a privilege to be entrusted with kids for eight hours a day.  It’s a job I don’t take lightly.  It is so inspiring to watch a struggling student finally have a ‘light bulb’ moment and feel proud of what they have accomplished.  I get the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of my students every single day and that motivates me to make every day in my classroom the best day ever!

“I incorporate a wide variety of technology in my classroom on a daily basis. Whether it is coding, or Ozobots, or Google classroom related, using technology motivates students, challenges them, and encourages collaboration,” she said.  “I often find that students who may not ‘traditionally’ excel academically, connect to activities like coding and web development and get the much needed opportunity to be leaders in the classroom.”

The colleague who nominated Merpi for the Excellence in Education award said “she excels in her math instruction and her innovative uses of technology in the classroom.”

Kaitlin Merpi is interviewed after being presented with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.

Kaitlin Merpi is interviewed after being presented with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.

“Kaitlin coaches a fourth grade math team that participates in contests through the Online Math League. This club has grown so popular that even though it is optional, the vast majority of fourth graders at Lakeside Elementary choose to join the team and have fun working on challenging math problems in official practices and competitions throughout the year,” the nomination said, adding:  “Mrs. Merpi’s math team has won multiple national championships thanks to her inspiring leadership!”

The nomination said Merpi uses technology in innovative ways to enhance learning and motivate students.  For example, she uses a robotics program, web design, plus a class Facebook page to communicate with students’ families and keep them connected to her classroom.

The student demand for learning about technology was so high that Merpi ran two summer camps in 2017 for robotics and web design and those camps attracted many East Grand Rapids elementary students, the nomination said.

“Mrs. Merpi doesn’t keep her technology prowess to herself. She is a leader in East Grand Rapids Public Schools. She has given generously of her time to train other teachers throughout her building and the district in everything from Google Classroom to using Interactive Smart Boards to mastering the finer points of Google Drive. She is a true leader who inspires not only her students but the other staff members around her.

“Improving STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education is a critical goal for the state of Michigan and Kaitlin Merpi is a perfect example of the kind of educator who is already doing exactly that in her classroom,” the nomination said.

Merpi earned a bachelor of arts degree in language arts from Hope College and an educational technology endorsement from Michigan State University.  She has been an educator for eight years, all with the East Grand Rapids Public Schools.

Outstanding public school educators may be nominated for an Excellence in Education award at 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 , ,

Michigan Lottery Sets Fourth Straight Record for School Contributions in Fiscal Year 2018: More Than $941.2 Million

The Michigan Lottery provided more than $941.2 million to the School Aid Fund in Fiscal Year 2018, its fourth straight record contribution.

In the previous three record years, the Lottery contributed $924.1 million (FY 2017), $888.9 million (FY 2016) and $795.5 million (FY 2015). Contributions for the last four years exceed $3.5 billion, about 16 percent of the $22.4 billion that the Lottery has provided for Michigan schools in its 46-year history.

The Lottery set several other major records in Fiscal Year 2018, including:

  • Nearly $3.6 billion in sales, up from the record $3.3 billion set last year
  • More than $2.2 billion in prizes to players, up from the record $2 billion set last year
  • More than $266.5 million in commissions to Lottery retailers, many of which are small, family-owned businesses, up from the record $249.2 million set last year

The Lottery’s record performance in 2018 was fueled primarily by a 12.6 percent increase in instant game purchases – the fifth straight year of double-digit growth for those games – as well as the growing popularity of the Fast Cash games, continued growth of online sales, and two large Mega Millions jackpots.

“Several factors contributed to Lottery’s success in 2018,” said Commissioner Brian O. Neill, “including strong relationships with our retailers, research and development of new game ideas, exceptional teamwork across the organization, and the greatly appreciated support of our players.”

Along with its record financial performance, the Lottery is proud of its commitment to promoting responsible gaming. The Lottery recently attained Responsible Gaming Verification of its program through the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries and recertification of its online program through the National Council on Problem Gambling. “Our games are meant to be fun and support schools,” Neill said, “but it is important to remember that they are a form of gambling. If gambling of any kind is negatively affecting you or someone in your life, please call the helpline printed on all tickets or use the resources available on our website.”

For each dollar spent on a Michigan Lottery ticket in FY 2018 approximately:

  • 62 cents went back to players as prizes
  • 26 cents went to the School Aid Fund
  • 9 cents went to commissions for retailers and vendors
  • 3 cents was used to fund the Lottery’s operations and administrative costs

Under state law, all profits from the Lottery go to the School Aid Fund. In FY 2018, contributions from the Lottery comprised approximately 7 percent of the fund.

Posted in Michigan Lottery | Tagged , ,

$3.73 Million Lotto 47 Jackpot Won; Winning Ticket Sold in Howell

Lotto 47 with EZMatchChristmas came a little early for a lucky Michigan Lottery player who won a $3.73 million Lotto 47 jackpot.

The winning ticket matched all six Lotto 47 numbers drawn Saturday: 01-02-07-08-11-26. The winning ticket was bought at the Sunoco gas station, located at 763 South Michigan Avenue in Howell.

Saturday’s jackpot win marks the seventh time the game’s jackpot has been won in 2018. Lotto 47 jackpot winners have won more than $21 million in 2018.

The lucky ticket holder from Saturday’s drawing should contact the Lottery’s Public Relations Division at (517) 373-1237 to make an appointment to claim the prize at the Lottery headquarters in Lansing. Lotto 47 tickets 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 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 | Tagged , , , ,

Otsego County Woman Wins $300,000 Playing the Michigan Lottery’s Double Bonus Cashword Instant Game

An Otsego County woman couldn’t figure out why her Double Bonus Cashword instant game ticket wasn’t eligible for a second chance game, until she realized she had a $300,000 winner.

The 64-year-old player bought her winning ticket at the Marathon gas station, located at 1482 West M-32 in Gaylord.

“I buy the Cashword games because I like playing the second chance game,” said the player, who chose to remain anonymous. “I sat down to enter some of the tickets from my pile, and this one just wouldn’t go in.

“I tried to put it in three times and just knew I must be missing something. I gave the ticket another look, and realized I forgot to scratch the puzzle at the bottom of the ticket. I started scratching that puzzle and that’s when I saw I had a bunch of words.

“That evening, my friend and I were on our way to a work Christmas party, and we stopped at the Marathon so I could scan the ticket to see what I’d won. As soon as the clerk told me it was a $300,000 winner, I started screaming: ‘Oh my God!’ I got so shaky, I thought I might be having a heart attack.”

The player visited Lottery headquarters on Wednesday to claim the big prize. With her winnings, she plans to pay some bills, cut back to part-time hours at her job, and then save the remainder.

“I’ve been on cloud nine since I won! I have been trying to cut my hours back at work so I can spend more time with family and this will help me do that and live more comfortably,” the player said.

Players have won more than $37 million playing Double Bonus Cashword, which launched in August 2017. Each $5 ticket offers players a chance to win prizes ranging from $5 up to $300,000. More than $14 million in prizes remain, including one $300,000 top prizes, five $10,000 prizes, and 32 $2,000 prizes.

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

In 2017, Lottery players won more than $960 million playing instant games.

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