LANSING, May 26, 2011 – Although superstition dictates that Friday the 13th is unlucky, one Michigan Lottery player would argue otherwise.

Kendall Warren, of Kalamazoo, was in Lansing today to collect a $27 million prize from the May 13 Mega Millions drawing. An occasional Lottery player who prefers Mega Millions and Powerball, Warren purchased the winning easy-pick ticket at Circle K #6205, 4117 Portage, in Kalamazoo.

Warren chose to take the lump-sum value of the prize, or $17,430,600, less the appropriate federal and state taxes.

Warren, 61, was on his way to work on May 16 when he heard where the winning ticket had been sold. The aerospace engineer said dealing with mathematics made him realize his chances to win the jackpot in the multi-state game were slim. “I thought there was no way I could ever win this,” he said. “I still thought it was a very long shot.”

Nevertheless, he checked his ticket against the winning numbers in the paper once he got to his office at Parker Hannifin Corporation in Kalamazoo. When he realized he did in fact have the winning ticket, he was too stunned to even call his wife, Sue, and asked a coworker to do so. Sue, a retired nursery school teacher who was at the local Y, got a message to call her husband immediately because there was an emergency. Multiple negative scenarios went through her mind, but it never occurred to her that she and her husband had just won $27 million!

At this point, Warren is not planning to retire, although he admits his coworkers are quietly betting on how long he will stay on the job. The couple’s plans for the windfall include investments, enjoyment, including travel, and taking care of their family.

“God’s hand was in this,” he said.

The Warrens said they have been asked several times since their win whether their good fortune has sunk in yet.

“Do we think like upper class people? No. We are still the same people,” he said.

The winning numbers in the drawing were 03-33-39-47-53, Mega ball 09. For selling the winning ticket, Circle K will receive a $50,000 bonus.

Mega Millions tickets are sold in 41 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Wagers are $1 and drawings are Tuesday and Friday nights.

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.

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

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To access a photo from today’s news event, click on: /images/lottery/Kendall_Warren_002_354044_7.jpg




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