LANSING, August 5, 1997 – Two lifelong friends from Macomb County have added an exciting new chapter to their history. Their lottery club had the only ticket to match all six winning numbers in The Big Game drawing on August 1, for a jackpot of $5 million!
Matthew Benavides of Warren and Donald Lemieux of Macomb Township are the only two members of the Warren-based M&D Lottery Club – and neither could believe the club’s good fortune.
"I went to a 7-Eleven to pick up a winning numbers report," said Benavides, the club’s representative. "The ticket was with me, so I took the report home to check our numbers. After checking them six, seven, maybe eight times, I decided I’d better tell Donald, but he didn’t believe me. He made me bring the ticket over in person!"
The club picked up its first installment check of $250,000 before taxes, to be followed by 19 annual installments.
Benavides and Lemieux, though friends for a long time, have officially played Lottery games as a club for just over eight months. Both men are married with children.
Benavides, 35, said he’ll share his winnings with his family, make investments and possibly look for a new home.
Lemieux, 36, wasn’t quite sure of his plans, but said he might buy a few "new toys."
"I still don’t believe it," said Lemieux. "This will make life a lot easier. Now we can do all the things we couldn’t do before."
M&D Lottery Club’s winning "easy pick" ticket was purchased at Southland Corp. #26851 (7-Eleven), 13555 E. 12 Mile Road, in Warren.
The winning numbers in the Big Game drawing on Friday, August 1, 1997, were: 17, 34, 38, 39, 44, and the Big Money Ball number was 13.
In addition, a Lansing retailer sold a prize-winning ticket in the August 1 Big Game drawing. A ticket matching the first five Big Game numbers for a prize of $150,000 was sold at 7-Eleven, 940 N. Elmwood Road, in Lansing. That prize remains unclaimed.
The Big Game offers nine ways to win cash prizes. Players pay $1 for each play, and choose five numbers from 1 to 50, as well as one additional number from 1 to 25.
Friday’s (August 8) Big Game jackpot is $5 million.
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