Saginaw man takes $2 million Freedom Festival prize

LANSING, June 29, 2006 – The International Freedom Festival’s fireworks in Detroit Wednesday were especially bright for Michael Howerton of Saginaw, who was the lucky winner of $2 million in a Michigan Lottery’s drawing at the close of the event.

Howerton purchased his winning ticket at the Kroger store on Tittabawassee Road in Saginaw.  He said he’s looking forward to investing the money and sharing his luck with family members.  Howerton, who recently retired, is looking forward to “sitting back and enjoying life.”

Howerton, one of five finalists in the drawing, was eligible to participate after winning a $1,000 prize in one of five $20 Instant Lottery games.  Immediately prior to the drawing, he and fellow contestants Daniel Perrou of Linwood and Richard Holdiman of Newport agreed that they would share the prize money if with each other if they were chosen the winner.

Holdiman and his wife will use part of their winnings to pay off their home, and Perrou plans to reinvest his portion into his business. 

All three finalists said they will continue to play the Michigan Lottery.  In fact, Holdiman’s wife won $40 earlier today before the group picked up the prize check.

The other participants in the drawing were Thomas Beaudrie of South Rockwood and Linda Moore of Coldwater.  They, Perrou and Holdiman each received a prize of $5,000.

Lottery Commissioner Gary Peters was on hand at the drawing, which was televised live by WDIV and viewed by hundreds who had been watching the fireworks, to present Howerton with a ceremonial check.

“The Lottery congratulates Mr. Howerton on becoming the state’s newest multi-millionaire!” Peters said.  “We wish him and his family, and all our lucky finalists, the best of luck.”

The $20 Instant games are different from most other Michigan Lottery Instant games because the top prize is awarded through a drawing.  All $1,000 winning tickets for “Millions & Millions”, “$2,000,000 Mega Play”, “$2,000,000 Cash Casino”, “Wild Millions”, and “Mega Bucks Jackpot” that were claimed before the close of business on Wednesday, June 14 were automatically entered into the finalist drawing, which was June 16.  Howerton and the other four finalists were randomly selected from a pool of 910 entries.

All proceeds from the Lottery are contributed to the state School Aid Fund which supports kindergarten through 12th grade public education in Michigan.  In fiscal year 2005, the contribution was $667.6 million.

For additional information, please visit the Lottery’s Web site at

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