LANSING, Michigan, October 17, 2009 – Four lucky Michigan Lottery players won over $4 million in cash and prizes in the premier episode of Make Me Rich!, the Lottery’s new game show. Make Me Rich!, which debuted on Friday night, was the biggest, richest, prime-time TV game show ever. In addition to the cash prizes to three players, one player won a 2010 Ford Mustang GT. The show was hosted by Christopher Knight, best known for his role as Peter Brady on the 1970s hit TV series “The Brady Bunch” and most recently as host of “Trivial Pursuit America Plays.”
Contestants won the opportunity to appear on “Make Me Rich!,” by playing Michigan Lottery Instant games and participating in eligible second-chance drawings, including Dream Cruise; $1,000,000 Sweepstakes and Instant Replay. The Lottery’s $20 Instant games $2,000,000 drawing was also part of the show. Viewers at home were also able to participate in the game show fun by texting-in for a chance to win one of five $1,000 prizes.
James Tobiczyk of Redford was the lucky winner of the 2010 Ford Mustang GT Premium, the second-chance prize on the Dream Cruise Instant ticket. Other contestants participating in the Dream Cruise game included Patricia Papaciak of St. Clair Shores and Carolyn Swiantek of Rochester Hills, who each received a $5,000 appearance fee and a trip for two to the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.
Carol Ellis of Inkster was the grand prize winner of $1 million in the $1 Million Sweepstakes second-chance game. Other finalists participating in the game included William Fresard of St. Clair Shores, Russell Kelley of Muskegon, Edward Bernheisel of Olivet, and Theresa Jordan of Caro. Each finalist earned the right to appear on the show after each winning a $10,000 second-chance prize on the Lottery’s VIP player Web site, www.playercity.net. In addition to the $10,000 second-chance prize, non-grand prize winners were each given a trip for two to the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.
Patrick Frost of Olivet won $1 million in the Instant Replay game. Other contestants, who each received a $5,000 appearance fee and a trip for two to the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, included Janice Flynn of Sterling Heights, Michael Wilson of East Leroy, Julianne Bartosiewicz of Lakeview, and Armer Burns of Grand Blanc.
Michael DeWitt of Muskegon was the lucky winner of a $2 million prize in the $20 Instant games $2,000,000 drawing. Additional contestants for the game included Judith Salowitz of Attica, Richard Smith of Warren, Mary Waters of Livonia, and Karen Demmy of Belleville. Each contestant received a $5,000 appearance fee and a trip for two to the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.
“Our inaugural show was a complete success and could not have happened without a great group of contestants and our dynamic host, Christopher Knight,” Lottery Commissioner M. Scott Bowen said. “Congratulations to all the grand prize winners and we look forward to producing more shows like this in the future.”
Created by Hollywood game show producer Jonathan Goodson Productions, “Make Me Rich!” will air new shows quarterly with a variety of exciting prizes. Christopher Knight will host future productions, with the second show slated to air in winter 2010.
Anyone interested in being a future contestant can get more information by visiting https://www.michiganlottery.com and clicking on “Make Me Rich!”
Over 95 cents of every dollar spent on Lottery tickets is returned to the state in the form of contributions to the state School Aid Fund, prizes to players and commissions to retailers. In fiscal year 2009, the contribution to schools was over $715 million. Since its inception in 1972, the Lottery has contributed more than $15 billion to education in Michigan.
For additional information, please visit the Lottery’s Web site at https://www.michiganlottery.com.
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