“Our family always exchanges instant games in Christmas cards, and when I opened the card I began scratching immediately,” said the player, who chose to remain anonymous. “I scratched the spaces one-by-one and when I saw I had a match, I figured it was probably a $10 winner. When I read it was $500,000 I was stunned.”
A family member bought the winning ticket at Picolo’s Party Store, located at 13459 23 Mile Road in Shelby Township.
“My husband and I always figured that if we won the Lottery we’d run around the house screaming with excitement,” said the player. “The reality was, we sat at the kitchen table and stared at each other in disbelief.”
The 49-year-old player recently visited Lottery headquarters to claim her prize. With her winnings, she plans to pay off her house and then save the remainder.
“Winning is such a shock. We thought it would never happen, but now we know people do win,” the player said.
Players have won more than $11 million playing Holiday Gems, which launched in October 2017. Each $10 ticket offers players a chance to win prizes ranging from $10 up to $500,000. More than $12 million in prizes remain, including two $500,000 top prizes, eight $5,000 prizes, and 54 $1,000 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.