What would you do with a $1 million Powerball prize? A Paw Paw couple decided to buy the sports bar where they bought the lucky ticket.
Jeff and Robin McCarty won $1 million playing Powerball in May 2013 with a ticket they bought at Mike’s North 40, located at 46065 North M-40 in Paw Paw. After the couple won the big prize, buying a sports bar where they could work together became their goal. Little did they know, they wouldn’t have to go far to make their dream come true.
“We were regulars at Mike’s and became good friends with him over the years,” said Jeff McCarty. “When we won the $1 million, I’m not sure anyone was happier for us than Mike.”
After paying some bills and buying a new home, the McCartys invested the remainder of their winnings with hopes of one day buying a sports bar.
“We didn’t do anything extravagant after winning,” said Jeff. “We both kept our jobs and from time to time we’d joke with Mike about buying his bar.”
Joking turned into serious talks last year when Jeff and Robin decided it was time to do what they’d always dreamed of: own a business.
“Mike did such a great job turning this place around during the four years that he owned it, we didn’t want to see that change,” said Jeff. “We decided the best way to keep things focused on great customer service and a family atmosphere was to buy the place and make it our own.”
So this May, Mike’s North 40 became McCarty’s North 40. While the name changed, many things are still the same.
“We’re still a place where people know they can come for great service, food, and fun,” said Jeff. “It’s important to us to be a place the community knows they can bring their family and enjoy a night out.”
Best of all, McCarty’s North 40 gives Jeff and Robin a chance to work together and do something they are both passionate about.
“We are the type of couple that always does things together,” said Jeff. “McCarty’s North 40 gives us the chance to work together as well. Robin works here full-time and the plan is for me to become full-time, too. If things continue to go as well as they have been, that will probably be sooner than later.”
The couple still plays the Lottery, and their story has brought in a steady stream of players hoping to get lucky at McCarty’s North 40.
“People definitely know our story and want to play the Lottery here. Hopefully someone will win $1 million and offer to buy the bar when we’re ready to retire,” Jeff said.