Winter storm brings millions to Lottery players!

LANSING, February 4, 2011 – Unlike most of the people in Michigan, chances are members of the P1 Gold Lottery Club were not concerned about the winter storm that hit the state on Tuesday night and Wednesday.  Instead, they were celebrating their Mega Millions jackpot win!

The club, which has 13 members, made the trip to Lansing today to claim its half of the $93 million February 1 Mega Millions jackpot.  The club chose to take the cash option of just over $29 million, less taxes.  The second half of the prize was won by a Hoosier (Indiana) Lottery player.

Hosea Person and his wife Charlene, who represented the club, told reporters that the group has been playing together for 12 years.  They had previously won a prize of $10,000 and knew that it was just a matter of time before they hit a jackpot.  The group plays only Mega Millions and is faithful to purchasing for both Tuesday and Friday drawings.

“It was a long time coming,” Hosea said.  “We just knew we were going to win.”

As soon as he realized the group had the winning ticket on Wednesday morning after watching the news, Hosea began calling his the members who all work together for the US Postal Service in Romulus.

“He was talking so loud I had to put the phone down and call him back,” one of them laughed.  A mail carrier whose wife was in the club called him while he was on his route, trudging through the deep snow. “I told her to stop messing with me because it’s cold outside!” he said.

“Now we are pinching dollars, not pennies!” another member added.

When asked what they will do with their winnings, members of the club in unison said they would “stimulate the economy!”  On a more specific note, plans include college education for children and grandchildren, vehicles, houses, charities and churches.

The group members have a range of jobs for the Postal Service, including clerk, supervisor, mail handler, mechanic and electrical technician.  One member of the group retired late last year but has continued to participate in the club.  At this point, none of the other members plan to quit, the Persons said.

And they will continue to play the Lottery, Person said, but will begin taking their shot at a Powerball jackpot.

P1 Gold Lottery Club is Michigan’s 12th Mega Millions jackpot winner.  The state’s most recent winner, Steve Mays of Gladstone, claimed his $141 million prize from the October 29, 2010 drawing in November of last year.  On that same day, the Team Victory Lottery Club claimed $128.6 million, Michigan’s first Powerball jackpot prize.

Michigan’s largest single jackpot, a Mega Millions prize worth $208 million, was won by Ralph and Mary Stebbins of Port Huron in April 2005.

The jackpot had been advertised at $91 million but sales supported a higher payout.  It has been increasing since a near record jackpot of $380 million was split between two players in Washington and Idaho in the January 4 drawing.

To access a photo from today’s news conference, click on:

Charlene Person wipes away a tear as she and her husband Hosea claim the February 1 Mega Millions jackpot on behalf of the P1 Gold Lottery Club. (Photo by Domagalski Photography, courtesy of Michigan Lottery.)

Over 94 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 2010, the contribution to schools was $701.3 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

“The Michigan Lottery. All across the state good things happen.”

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