LANSING, December 9, 1998 – Richard Hopkins of Gaylord was able to give his wife the best gift ever for their 48th wedding anniversary – $150,000!
Hopkins matched the first five numbers in the December 1 Big Game drawing to win the $150,000 prize. That day’s winning numbers were: 16, 21, 30, 32, 44 and the Big Money Ball number was 15.
"I saw the winning numbers in the Traverse City Record Eagle," he said. "I was so surprised that I had to look at the numbers twice!"
The win was extra special for Hopkins, as it came on he and his wife Louise’s 48th wedding anniversary.
"I put the ticket on the kitchen table and then went to get my wife to tell her we had won," he said. "I pointed at the table and said ‘there’s your anniversary gift.’ She looked at the table and said ‘what are you talking about?’ I then told her that we won $150,000 on the Big Game and she just went crazy! Neither one of us has been able to sleep since we found out!"
The 69-year-old retiree, who has been playing the Michigan Lottery for the past 26 years, said he plans to share his winnings with his family and take a fishing trip to Canada. In his spare time, Hopkins enjoys fishing, hunting, snowmobiling and camping.
The Gaylord man purchased the winning Big Game "easy pick" ticket at Cardinal Discount, 121 S. Wisconsin Ave., in Gaylord.
The winner offered the following advice for other hopeful Lottery players: "Keep playing the Lottery everyday!"
The Big Game is a six-state lottery game which held its first drawing in September 1996. Lotteries in Michigan, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts and Virginia contribute to the joint prize pool. Big Game drawings are conducted every Tuesday and Friday at 11 p.m. The next Big Game drawing will be conducted Friday night – the expected jackpot is $7 million.
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