Player receives winning Lottery ticket-from Santa!

LANSING, January 21, 2010 – Soteros Boloven got the kind of Christmas gift most people only dream of.

On Christmas Eve, Boloven’s brother Steve, dressed as Santa Claus, presented him with a Michigan Lottery Millionaire Raffle ticket. Steve didn’t even buy the gift until Christmas Eve, and Soteros was a little disturbed that his brother waited until the last minute to shop. But when the ticket turned out to be a $100,000 winner in Wednesday’s Millionaire Raffle drawing, the brothers were all smiles.

Just to emphasize the point that the winning ticket was a gift from Santa, Steve donned his red suit and hat and long white beard and accompanied his brother and other family members to claim the prize at the Lottery’s headquarters in Lansing on Thursday.

Boloven, of Northville, said he thought he’d lost the ticket when after picking up Christmas wrappings and gifts, he realized it was missing. Thinking he’d thrown it away, he retrieved the trash just before it was picked up. As he prepared to go through it, his wife indicated she’d found the ticket, tucked in a book.

He checked the Lottery’s Web site following Wednesday’s drawing and learned his ticket was a winner.

Boloven, who is a fan of Instant tickets and the Mega Millions game, as well as the Raffle series, plans to use the winnings to pay bills. He said he will also share the money with his family.

The winning ticket was purchase at Joy Tobacco Inc., 25655 Joy Rd., in Dearborn Heights.

Over 98.5 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 $724.5 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

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