Monroe County Woman Wins $2 Million Playing the Michigan Lottery’s 100X The Cash Instant Game

A Monroe County woman is still in disbelief after winning $2 million playing the Michigan Lottery’s 100X The Cash instant game.

The lucky player, who chose to remain anonymous, bought her winning ticket at Waterstradt’s 5 Points party store, located at 13455 South Custer Road in Dundee.

“I bought a ticket at the grocery store and won $20,” said the 59-year-old winner. “On my way home, I stopped to cash the winning ticket and decided to use the money to purchase a 100X The Cash ticket.

“I began scratching the ticket and when I saw I had won $2 million, I couldn’t believe it. I said to my husband: ‘What do you think about being millionaires?’ When I showed him the ticket, he had to check it over several times because he was also in disbelief.”

The player visited Lottery headquarters last week to claim the big prize. She chose to receive her winnings as a one-time lump sum payment of about $1.2 million, rather than annuity payments for the full amount. She plans to invest her winnings and continue working.

“It still hasn’t sunk in that we won. This will provide a nice financial cushion for us” the player said.

Players have won more than $25 million playing 100X The Cash, which launched in December 2018. Each $20 ticket offers players a chance to win prizes ranging from $20 up to $2 million. More than $73 million in prizes remain, including two $2 million top prizes, 39 $10,000 prizes, and 669 $1,000 prizes.

Lottery instant games may be purchased at 11,000 retailers across the state.

In 2017, Lottery players won more than $960 million playing instant games.

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Houghton County Woman Wins $500,000 Playing the Michigan Lottery’s Platinum Wild Time Instant Game

A Houghton County woman turned “white as a ghost” after winning $500,000 playing the Michigan Lottery’s Platinum Wild Time instant game.

The lucky player, who chose to remain anonymous, bought her winning ticket at Louie’s Super Value Foods, located at 53115 State Highway M-26 in Lake Linden. Lake Linden is about 10 miles north of Houghton.

“I braved a snow storm to go grab a few groceries at Louie’s,” said the 39-year-old player. “I bought a $5 ticket and won $10, so I went back in and bought the Platinum Wild Time ticket.

“I scratched the ticket off when I got home and when my husband came in to the room he asked if I was OK because I was white as a ghost. I handed him the ticket and he almost ripped it in half because he thought it was a fake. We felt nauseous, thrilled, and then nauseous again!”

The player visited Lottery headquarters recently to claim the big prize. With her winnings, she plans to buy a new vehicle and then save the remainder.

“This kind of stuff doesn’t happen to us. I still can’t believe it happened. Everything had to align just right for us to win,” the player said.

Players have won more than $43 million playing Platinum Wild Time, which launched in October 2017. Each $10 ticket offers players a chance to win prizes ranging from $10 up to $500,000. More than $3 million in prizes remain, including nine $10,000 prizes.

Lottery instant games may be purchased at 11,000 retailers across the state.

In 2017, Lottery players won more than $960 million playing instant games.

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Huron County Educator Wins Excellence in Education Award from the Michigan Lottery

Ward Donovan (right) poses for a photo with Michigan Lottery public relations director, Jeff Holyfield, after accepting his Excellence in Education Award.

Ward Donovan (right) poses for a photo with Michigan Lottery public relations director, Jeff Holyfield, after accepting his Excellence in Education Award.

A Huron County educator known for using art to help students develop and expand their creative skills and for helping them develop as individuals has been honored with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.

The award winner, Ward Donovan, is the art teacher at the Laker Junior High School and Laker High School, both in Pigeon.  The schools are part of the Elkton-Pigeon-Bay Port Lakers Schools.

The Michigan Lottery established the Excellence in Education awards in 2014 to recognize outstanding public school educators across the state during the school year.

Winners of the weekly award receive a plaque, a $1,500 cash prize, and a $500 grant to their classroom, school or school district.  One of the weekly winners will be selected as the Educator of the Year and will receive a $10,000 cash prize.

Each winner also is featured in a news segment on the Lottery’s media partner stations:  WXYZ-TV in Detroit, FOX 17 in Grand Rapids, FOX 47 in Lansing, and WNEM-TV in Saginaw. The news segment featuring Donovan will air this evening in Grand Rapids and Lansing, on Thursday in Saginaw, and then on Friday in Detroit.

Donovan said he was attracted to a career in education because “my two loves have been art and helping people. In education, I found a career where I could pursue both.

“Some people think of teaching as a ‘calling.’  I feel it’s a gift and a chance to do what’s right.  We see these students every day and it’s our chance to show them that there are caring adults in this world outside of their homes.”

He added that is favorite part of being an educator is “watching students grow and form themselves into unique individuals. Being a teacher of an elective class in both junior high and high school, I often will get the opportunity to have students multiple years in a row.  Seeing them transform themselves from children into young adults is a profound and humbling experience. Over the years, my students have become my family and family is everything.”

A colleague nominated Donovan for the Excellence in Education award, saying he “encourages each student to reveal their true gifts and talents as he works beside them.”

“I watch him touch our student’s lives in ways that serve them now and offer them skills that will continue to serve them for decades.  Ward has a quiet strength about him that provides support for some of his most vulnerable students yet also provides a role model as he exemplifies the qualities that I so admire,” the nomination said.

Ward Donovan is interviewed after being presented with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.

Ward Donovan is interviewed after being presented with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.

“He is tenacious yet gentle. He sets high expectations yet is compassionate and above all has become an important ‘go to’ person for both past and present students. His quiet nature serves as a reminder that one does not have to be boisterous or overbearing to command the attention and dedication of students.

“Ward has exposed the student’s to methods of self- expression and self-discovery in a safe atmosphere where it is OK to make mistakes or to take risks.  In a time when our youth are faced with societal norms that don’t always display the male gender as compassionate yet strong, Ward demonstrates his strength and power in the classroom and in his artwork,” the nomination said.

Donovan earned a bachelor’s degree in painting from Michigan State University and an education certificate from Saginaw Valley State University.  He has been an educator for 17 years, the past 13 with the Elkton-Pigeon-Bay Port Lakers Schools.

Excellence in Education award nominees are evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Excellence – Their work consistently helps students and/or their schools or school districts advance to higher levels of academic achievement.
  • Dedication – They consistently go above and beyond expectations to help students succeed.
  • Inspiration – Their work inspires others around them to exceed expectations either academically or professionally.
  • Leadership – They demonstrate clear leadership skills in their positions with their school or school districts.
  • Effectiveness – The nominee’s work has clear and positive results on the educational advancement of students within the school or school district.
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Monroe County Man Wins $2.5 Million Lotto 47 Jackpot

A Monroe County man wrote “$2,500,000” over and over after learning he’d won a $2.5 million Lotto 47 jackpot from the Michigan Lottery.

The lucky player, who chose to remain anonymous, matched all six Lotto 47 numbers drawn Saturday: 02-16-23-26-39-41. He bought the winning ticket at the Uptown Bar, located at 8 West Front Street in Monroe.

“I checked my tickets Monday during my trip to the grocery store,” said the 75-year-old player. “When I scanned the Lotto 47 ticket, I got a message to see the retailer. The clerk printed off the numbers and we both looked over my ticket. She told me I’d won the jackpot and my first reaction was: ‘I did?’

“When I got home, I kept writing ‘$2,500,000’ down on a piece of paper because I just couldn’t believe I’d won so much and I wanted to see what it felt like to write such a huge number.”

The player visited Lottery headquarters Tuesday to collect the big prize. He chose to receive his winnings as a one-time lump sum payment of about $1.6 million, rather than annuity payments for the full amount. With his winnings, he plans to share with his family and take a vacation.

“I’m retired and live a comfortable life, but don’t have much money to spend on my family. This will allow me to help them tremendously,” the player said.

Each Lotto 47 play is only $1. Players select six numbers from one to 47 for a chance to win a jackpot starting at $1 million and grows until someone wins it. For an additional $1 per game, players may add EZMatch to their ticket for a chance to win up to $500 instantly. For an additional $1 per play, players may add Double Play to their ticket for a chance to win up to $1.5 million in the Lotto 47 Double Play drawing. Lotto 47 drawings take place on Wednesday and Saturday at 7:29 p.m. Tickets may be purchased until 7:08 p.m. on the day of the drawing.

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Bay County Educator Wins Excellence in Education Award from the Michigan Lottery

Aaron Smith (right) poses for a photo with Michigan Lottery public relations director, Jeff Holyfield, after accepting his Excellence in Education Award.

Aaron Smith (right) poses for a photo with Michigan Lottery public relations director, Jeff Holyfield, after accepting his Excellence in Education Award.

A Bay County educator known for his dedication to help every student learn and to believe in themselves and set high goals and reach them has been honored with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.

The award winner, Aaron Smith, is a math teacher at Bay City Western High School, which is part of the Bay City Public Schools.

The Michigan Lottery established the Excellence in Education awards in 2014 to recognize outstanding public school educators across the state during the school year.

Winners of the weekly award receive a plaque, a $1,500 cash prize, and a $500 grant to their classroom, school or school district.  One of the weekly winners will be selected as the Educator of the Year and will receive a $10,000 cash prize.

Each winner also is featured in a news segment on the Lottery’s media partner stations:  WXYZ-TV in Detroit, FOX 17 in Grand Rapids, FOX 47 in Lansing, and WNEM-TV in Saginaw. The news segment featuring Smith will air this evening in Grand Rapids and Lansing, and then on Thursday in Saginaw and Detroit.

“I have always wanted to be a teacher.  That decision was solidified when I worked with the kids on the military installations I was at,” Smith said, adding that he served in the U.S. Air Force and would volunteer at youth centers and had a part-time job at one facility.

He added that is favorite part of being an educator is “seeing the ‘Ah-ha!’ moment and the look on kids’ faces when they finally figure it out.”

Smith said his students motivate him to do his best each day.  “I never know that type of student is going to walk into my classroom each year. What motivates me is to work with the kids, to get them to see the best in themselves, and get them to believe in themselves. Then, a few years after they have graduated, I see them and they are so proud and excited to come up to me and tell me everything they have done and plan to do. That makes it all worthwhile.

A student nominated Smith for the Excellence in Education award, saying he “is by far the best teacher I have ever met.”

“He truly cares about all of his students and even students who don’t have his class. He shows up early to school and helps students if they need it and he stays hours after school ends every day just to help students. He finds different ways to help teach students who may not be understanding the way something is taught, and wants the best for everyone,” the nomination said. He makes students look forward to math class.”

Aaron Smith is interviewed after being presented with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.

Aaron Smith is interviewed after being presented with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.

“He also draws from his personal experiences to help students who are upset or stressed or just need to rant. He is always there to listen, always there to help, or even just to make you laugh and smile.”

The nomination said Smith “has helped students struggling with mental health issues and helped them get through high school and actually look forward to the future. He has helped them think of job ideas and inspired kids to follow their dreams even if they don’t think they can. He instills confidence in his students and makes them feel cared about.

“Parents have even contacted him for help for their children because they know how much he cares and how he will drop whatever he is doing to help someone. He is so selfless. He asks for nothing in return for all of his help. I feel he really deserves to be recognized for changing my life, and the lives of many other students, for the better.”

Smith earned a bachelor’s degree from Saginaw Valley State University and a master’s degree from Concordia University.  He has been an educator for 13 years, the past two with the Bay City Public Schools.

Excellence in Education award nominees are evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Excellence – Their work consistently helps students and/or their schools or school districts advance to higher levels of academic achievement.
  • Dedication – They consistently go above and beyond expectations to help students succeed.
  • Inspiration – Their work inspires others around them to exceed expectations either academically or professionally.
  • Leadership – They demonstrate clear leadership skills in their positions with their school or school districts.
  • Effectiveness – The nominee’s work has clear and positive results on the educational advancement of students within the school or school district.
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