Berrien County Man Wins $128,166 Fantasy 5 Jackpot from the Michigan Lottery

Odell SmithA Berrien County man thought his eyes were playing tricks on him when he won a $128,166 Fantasy 5 jackpot from the Michigan Lottery.

Odell Smith, of Benton Harbor, matched the Fantasy 5 numbers in the May 7 drawing to win the big prize: 07-15-20-29-32. He bought his winning ticket at Lambrecht’s Grocery, located at 2926 Niles Avenue in Saint Joseph.

“Fantasy 5 is one of my favorite games and I play it often,” said Smith. “I stopped to check my ticket at the gas station the day after the drawing and kept getting a message to file a claim. I told the employee working that their Lottery machine was broken because it wasn’t validating my ticket.

Winning Ticket“I decided to take the ticket back home and check the winning numbers online. When I realized I’d matched all five numbers and was getting the message to file a claim because I won the jackpot, I was in disbelief. I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me!”

Smith, 74, recently visited Lottery headquarters to claim the big prize. With his winnings, he plans to pay bills and then save the remainder.

Each Fantasy 5 play is only $1. For an additional $1 per play, EZmatch may be added to a Fantasy 5 ticket, giving players a chance to win up to $500 instantly. For an additional $1 per play, Double Play may be added to a Fantasy 5 ticket, giving players a second chance to win up to $110,000 in the nightly Double Play drawing. Fantasy 5 players select five numbers from one to 39. Players who match all five Fantasy 5 numbers drawn win a jackpot that starts at $100,000. Fantasy 5 drawings are held seven days a week at 7:29 p.m.

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Royal Oak Woman Wins $500,000 Powerball Prize from the Michigan Lottery

Deborah BerschbachA Royal Oak woman is still in a daze after winning a $500,000 Powerball prize from the Michigan Lottery.

Deborah Berschbach, 54, matched the five white balls – 14-22-38-56-60– in the May 7 Powerball Double Play drawing to win a $500,000 prize. She bought her winning ticket at Star Market, located at 1806 West 13 Mile Road in Royal Oak.

“I stopped and purchased a ticket before heading to our cottage for the weekend,” said Berschbach. “On our way home Sunday, I got the ticket out to check it, and my husband said: ‘Wouldn’t it be something if you won big for Mother’s Day?’

Winning Ticket“When I scanned the ticket on the Lottery app and the amount of $500,000 came up on the screen, we couldn’t believe it. We both looked the ticket over what seemed like 100 times. We were shaking the whole way home!”

Berschbach visited Lottery headquarters recently to claim her prize. With her winnings, she plans to pay off her home and then save the remainder.

“It still hasn’t sunk in that we won, and it feels like we are in a daze! Winning is overwhelming in the best way possible,” said Berschbach.

The Powerball jackpot was last won on April 27. One ticket bought in Arizona won the $473.1 million jackpot. The current jackpot stands at $83 million.

Powerball plays may be purchased for $2 each at Lottery retailers across the state and online at MichiganLottery.com. A “Power Play” option that multiplies non-jackpot prizes by up to 10 times to a maximum of $2 million may be added to any Powerball play for only $1. For an additional $1 per play, Double Play may be added to a Powerball ticket, giving players a second chance to win up to $10 million in the nightly Double Play drawing.

The Powerball drawing takes place at 10:59 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday and may be watched live online at: http://www.powerball.com. Powerball tickets are sold in 45 states, Washington D.C., U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.

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Friday the 13th Historically Lucky for Michigan Lottery Mega Millions Players

Friday the 13th GraphicDon’t tell Michigan Lottery players that Friday the 13th is an unlucky day.

The Mega Millions game has been particularly lucky for Lottery players on Friday the 13th. Since 2003, Lottery players have won more than $171 million in jackpots from Friday the 13th drawings.

Four Michigan Lottery players hit Mega Millions jackpots on the supposedly unluckiest of days. The most recent winner, Kevin Blake, of Waterford, split a $42 million jackpot with a Rhode Island player on Oct. 13, 2017.

Blake chose to receive the $21 million jackpot as a one-time lump sum of about $13.1 million, rather than annuity payments for the full amount. After tax withholdings, he received about $9.3 million.

In addition to the jackpot prizes, 35 lucky Mega Millions players have won prizes ranging from $10,000 up to $1 million on Friday the 13th.

Mega Millions drawings take place each Tuesday and Friday evening. Each Mega Millions play is only $2. For an additional $1 per play, players have the opportunity to add a “Megaplier” that can multiply non-jackpot prizes by up to five times. Mega Millions tickets are sold in 45 states, Washington D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Mega Millions tickets for may be purchased online at MichiganLottery.com and at the Lottery’s 10,500 retailers around the state until 10:45 p.m. the day of the drawing.

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

Virginia PlatekA Calhoun County educator known for her ability to make learning fun for her students has been honored with an Excellence In Education award from the Michigan Lottery.

The award winner, Virginia Platek, is a ninth grade English and AP language and composition teacher at Battle Creek Central High School. The school is part of Battle Creek 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 Platek will air this evening.

Platek said she has always known she wanted to be a teacher.

“I’ve always known I wanted to be a teacher. I struggled with mental health problems when I was a student and I noticed that my teachers would pretend the problem wasn’t there. I didn’t want someone else to go through what I did. As a teacher, I do my best to know my students and recognize when they are struggling. I don’t ignore their struggles. I want them to know there is hope and despite any mental health issues, they can still be successful.”

Platek’s favorite activity to do with students is read Romeo and Juliet.

“I love reading Romeo and Juliet with my students. I divide the class in two, the Montagues and the Capulets, and they earn points for positive behavior throughout the unit. At the end, the ‘family’ with the most points earns a reward. Another favorite activity our school did was a parade to support students that graduated during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the students couldn’t come together to celebrate, school staff decorated their cars and formed a caravan that drove past every graduating senior’s house in the district. We blared music and whooped and hollered. It was such a joyful moment.”

Platek’s nomination cited her ability to make learning fun and interesting for her students.

“Virginia has always been able to relate to middle school and high school students. She has a way of making learning fun and interesting. When her students start to read some of the required books, she finds a way to present them that makes the students want to read them.

“Before her current position, she worked at high schools with problem students. She would talk to and work with the students until they started doing the work and they always ended up passing their classes at the end of the year. Every year she has students come up to her and say: ‘you are the best teacher we ever had.’ She always takes on extra classes if they are short teachers and signs up for extracurricular activities with the students. She has also worked summer school and signed up to teach a college course this summer. Virginia was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis two years ago and despite the challenges she faces, she remains dedicated to her students every day.”

Platek earned a bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University and master’s degree from Grand Valley State University. She has been an educator for 9 years, the last 5 in her current position.

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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Oakland County Man Wins $242,256 Fantasy 5 Jackpot from the Michigan Lottery

Winning Ticket An Oakland County man had a hard time believing he won a $242,256 Fantasy 5 jackpot from the Michigan Lottery.

The lucky player, who chose to remain anonymous, matched the Fantasy 5 numbers in the April 30 drawing to win the big prize: 14-16-25-29-39. He bought his winning ticket at the BP gas station, located at 1365 west Maple Road in Clawson.

“When I was cashing out at the gas station, I saw the Fantasy 5 jackpot was over $200,000, so I decided to purchase a few tickets,” said the player. “I forgot I had purchased the tickets until I saw them in my wallet a few days later.

“When I checked the winning numbers on the Lottery app, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I decided to get on my computer and check the numbers on the Lottery website to make sure there wasn’t a glitch on the app. When I confirmed the numbers a second time and saw that the winning ticket was purchased in Clawson, it finally sunk in that I won. Winning is an excellent feeling!”

The 65-year-old player recently visited Lottery headquarters to claim the big prize. With his winnings, he plans to start college funds for his grandchildren and then save the remainder for retirement.

Each Fantasy 5 play is only $1. For an additional $1 per play, EZmatch may be added to a Fantasy 5 ticket, giving players a chance to win up to $500 instantly. For an additional $1 per play, Double Play may be added to a Fantasy 5 ticket, giving players a second chance to win up to $110,000 in the nightly Double Play drawing. Fantasy 5 players select five numbers from one to 39. Players who match all five Fantasy 5 numbers drawn win a jackpot that starts at $100,000. Fantasy 5 drawings are held seven days a week at 7:29 p.m.

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