A Sanilac County man had to look at his ticket three times before believing he’d won $500,000 playing the Michigan Lottery’s Lucky 7’s Tripler instant game.
Joe Mendoza, 68, bought his winning ticket at the Speedway gas station, located at 1 North Howard Avenue in Croswell. Croswell is about 30 miles north of Port Huron.
“I scratched the ticket and when I saw a five with all those zeros, I couldn’t believe my eyes,” said Mendoza. “I looked the ticket over three times and then went to have my wife look at it.
“When I showed my wife, she didn’t believe it and told me to go to Speedway to check the ticket. When I got home, I had my daughter-in-law call the Lottery for me because I was so nervous. When they set up the appointment for us to claim the prize, my wife finally believed it was real.”
Mendoza visited Lottery headquarters Wednesday with his family to claim his big prize.
“I haven’t really thought much about how I want to spend the money,” said Mendoza. “I know I’m going to buy a big TV, and I’ll probably save the rest for a little while.
“It still hasn’t fully sunk in that I won. I can’t even explain it, it just feels good.”
Players have won more than $21.5 million playing Lucky 7’s Tripler, which launched in January. Each $5 ticket offers players a chance to win prizes ranging from $5 up to $500,000. More than $22.4 million in prizes remain, including one $500,000 top prize, 13 $7,777 prizes, and 92 $1,777 prizes.
Lottery instant games may be purchased at 11,000 retailers across the state.
In 2016, Lottery players won nearly $817 million playing instant games.