LANSING, January 2, 2001 – “Total disbelief!” That is what Eban Cooper of Redford Township said he felt when he discovered he was holding a winning Michigan Lottery Big Game ticket worth $43 million!
Cooper, a corporate buyer/analyst at Botsford Hospital in Redford, was the only Big Game player in seven states to correctly match all six winning numbers in the November 28, 2000 Big Game drawing. The winning numbers for that drawing were: 15, 18, 30, 48, 49 and the Big Money Ball number was 8.
The jackpot that night was worth $43 million, but Cooper opted to collect his prize in one lump-sum payment of $22,970,084, the present cash value of that day’s jackpot, before taxes. Cooper purchased the winning Big Game “easy pick” ticket at Kwicky Liquor Party Shop, 25825 W. 7 Mile Road, in Redford.
“I had forgotten all about the ticket until my wife called and told me to check it,” Cooper said. “One of my wife’s co-workers told her that someone who purchased a Big Game ticket at Kwicky Liquor Party Shop had won the jackpot. I checked the ticket right away and was shocked to see that I had matched all six winning numbers! I then looked up the winning numbers on the Lottery’s Web site (www.state.mi.us/milottery) and just kept comparing them to my ticket over and over again to make sure I really had all six numbers. I was in total disbelief, and, frankly, I still am!”
Cooper arrived by limousine at Lottery headquarters in Lansing late this morning, accompanied by several friends and family members. Prior to turning the winning ticket over to Lottery officials, Cooper said he kept it in a safe deposit box.
“What a great way to start out the new year,” Lottery Commissioner Don Gilmer said. “I am absolutely thrilled for Mr. Cooper and his wife!”
The 40-year-old winner said he hasn’t yet decided what he will do with his winnings. He added that he will need to “think about it.”
“They say that money can’t buy happiness – I guess I am going to find out whether that is true or not!” he said.
The lucky man offered the following words of advice to other Lottery hopefuls: “Play to win! You can’t win if you don’t play!”
The Big Game is a multistate lottery game in Michigan, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Virginia. Wagers cost $1 each and tickets may be purchased at more than 6,400 Michigan Lottery retailers statewide.
Big Game drawings are conducted every Tuesday and Friday at 11 p.m. The next Big Game drawing is tonight (Tuesday), January 2 with an estimated jackpot of $30 million.