Canton couple claims $2 million!

LANSING, July 17, 2007 – When she realized that the prize wheel had landed on purple, Aida Beard was so excited she ran onstage, and onto live television, to embrace her husband who had just won $2 million!

William Beard became a very rich man on June 27 when he won the grand prize in the $20 Instant ticket drawing at the International Freedom Festival in Detroit.

Beard and his fellow finalists were randomly given colored Michigan Lottery t-shirts before the drawing that corresponded with color blocks on the prize wheel used for the drawing. Beard, wearing the purple shirt, walked away the big winner.

The Beards, who live in Canton and both work at Eastern Michigan University, said they plan to invest almost all of their prize money but will also take their kids on a family cruise.

Other finalists in the drawing, whose names were selected Friday, June 15, were Hannah Stieg of Manton; Dejan Dimovski of Royal Oak; Michael Bodner of Farmington Hills; and Martha Combs of Jackson. They each received a $5,000 appearance fee for participating in the live drawing on June 27.

The $20 Instant games are different from most other Michigan Lottery Instant games because the top prize is awarded through a live drawing. All $1,000 winning tickets for “Wild Millions”, “Mega Bucks Jackpot”, “$2,000,000 Cash Winfall”, “Millionaire’s Club”, “$35,000,000 Riches”, and “$2,000,000 Explosion” that were claimed before the close of business on Wednesday, June 13 were automatically entered into the finalist drawing.

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 2006, the contribution was $688 million.

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

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