Grand Rapids Lottery Club Wins $150,000 Big Game Prize

LANSING, August 29, 1997 – Members of a Grand Rapids lottery club are wearing big smiles – they’re the latest winners of a top Michigan Lottery prize!

The BCKMN Lottery Club matched the first five numbers drawn in the August 22 Big Game drawing, collecting the game’s $150,000 prize.  That day’s winning numbers were 6, 8, 11, 24, 30 and the Big Money Ball number was 4.

Club members, who work together at Amerisure Insurance in Grand Rapids, include:

  • Merlin Balke, 55, of Kentwood
  • Barbara Clark, 32, of Grand Rapids
  • Jean Kruizenga, 43, of Ada
  • Stephen Molloy, 48, of Grand Rapids
  • Carolyn Nowak, 47, of Jenison.

"I was the first one to find out we won," said club representative Merlin Balke.  "Then I called Carol about 6:30 a.m., and she called Steve, Barbara and Jean."

"When Carol called me, I first thought she said we’d won $150," said Jean Kruizenga.  "I said to her, ‘You’re waking me up for $150?’  Once I understood it was $150,000, I was wide awake!"

Club members’ plans for their winnings include buying new cars and paying bills.  Their "easy pick" ticket was purchased at Meijer Inc. #26, 0550 Baldwin Street, in Jenison.

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.

Tonight’s (September 5) Big Game jackpot is estimated at $20 million.

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