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

Don’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, 31 lucky players have won prizes ranging from $10,000 up to $1 million.

Friday could be another lucky night for a Michigan Lottery player with a $55 million jackpot up for grabs.

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 for the drawing may be purchased online at MichiganLottery.com and at the Lottery’s 11,000 retailers around the state until 10:45 p.m. Friday.

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Wayne County Lottery Club Wins $500,000 Playing the Michigan Lottery’s Treasure Tree Instant Game

Family Christmas will never be the same for a Wayne County lottery club that won $500,000 playing the Michigan Lottery’s Treasure Tree instant game.

The winning ticket was purchased at the Meijer store, located at 37201 Warren Road in Westland.

“Each year our family buys tickets to pass around at our Christmas party,” said the club’s representative. “I’m not picky about what ticket I get, so I told everyone that I would take whatever game was left.”

That decision paid off. The last remaining Treasure Tree ticket was a $500,000 winner.

“When I uncovered the ‘WIN’ symbol and saw the $500,000 prize, I thought I was seeing something,” said the club’s representative. “I showed my husband and he confirmed that I’d won the prize. I couldn’t believe it!”

The lottery club recently visited Lottery headquarters to claim the big prize. The club consisted of the club representative, her husband, and the family member who bought the ticket. With their winnings they plan to establish education accounts for their children and then save the remainder.

Players won more than $13 million playing Treasure Tree, which launched in November 2016. Each $10 ticket offered players a chance to win prizes ranging from $10 up to $500,000.

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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Dream Come True: Macomb County Woman Wins $221,202 Fantasy 5 Jackpot from the Michigan Lottery

Winning a $221,202 Fantasy 5 jackpot from the Michigan Lottery was a dream come true for a Macomb County woman. Literally.

“I woke up Sunday morning after having a dream about winning a Fantasy 5 jackpot,” said the player, who chose to remain anonymous. “I got dressed, got in my car, and drove to my favorite store to buy a couple tickets.”

The 56-year-old player bought her winning ticket at the Moravian Liquor Shoppe, located at 35906 Utica Road in Clinton Township. She matched the numbers drawn Sunday night to win a $221,202 jackpot: 04-13-14-29-35.

“I looked at my phone Sunday night and saw the jackpot had reset, I remember thinking: ‘I hope it was me,’” said the player. “When I woke up the next morning I checked my ticket and screamed: ‘Thank you Jesus!’”

The player visited Lottery headquarters Tuesday to claim her big prize. With her winnings she plans to pay some bills, share with her daughters, and then invest the remainder in her start up fragrance business.

“I always pay attention to my dreams. I’ve been dreaming about winning the Powerball jackpot too, so you all will be seeing me again real soon,” the player said.

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. 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. Tonight’s Fantasy 5 jackpot is $105,000.

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

Dr. Letha Hopkins-Powell poses for a photo with Michigan Lottery Director of Public Relations, Jeff Holyfield, after accepting her Excellence in Education Award.

Dr. Letha Hopkins-Powell poses for a photo with Michigan Lottery Director of Public Relations, Jeff Holyfield, after accepting her Excellence in Education Award.

An Oakland County educator known for her passion for helping students succeed academically and for assisting needy students in a variety of ways, including providing them clothes and meals, has been honored with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.

The award winner, Dr. Letha Hopkins-Powell, is an assistant principal at Pontiac High School, which is part of the Pontiac School District.

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 segment featuring Hopkins-Powell will air this evening in Grand Rapids and Lansing, and then on Thursday in Saginaw and Detroit.

Hopkins-Powell said she chose a career in education “because I wanted to make a difference in the lives of young people.  I truly believe ALL students can learn when they know someone believes in them and loves them.”

She said her favorite part of being an educator is “coming to work every day and seeing my students grow academically.  Another favorite part is telling my students ‘I love you,’ and hearing them respond, ‘Love you more!’”

Dr. Letha Hopkins-Powell is interviewed after being presented with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.

Dr. Letha Hopkins-Powell is interviewed after being presented with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.

Hopkins-Powell said the opportunities to help struggling students motivate her to do her best each day.  “When I see students who are struggling and are ready to give up and need that that extra push or extra help, I want to be there to help them put forth effort and let them know I’m here for them, because if they believe they can succeed.”

The Excellence in Education nomination for Hopkins-Powell described her as “dedicated in mind, body and soul to the students of the Pontiac School District.”

“She works tirelessly to assess and meet the needs of every student she encounters throughout the school day. She juggles her administrative duties while providing many students with the love and care they need at the moment,” the nomination said. “Anyone who has the chance to be in her presence will feel the love she radiates and will also be moved to do what’s right for all students.”

“She has been known to take hungry students home to have a home-cooked meal. Students often reach out when school is not in session to find out if she is available to ‘hang out,’ keeping these students off the streets and out of trouble. She has provided clothing and coats to help meet some of the basic needs for students in need.”

“She makes student success her personal goal. She is all about removing barriers to education for all students.  For example, during the school week, Dr. Hopkins-Powell often stays late to help students complete their homework. She also takes the initiative to make home visits and meet with families to discuss students, their current progress and ways to strengthen the school-home bond,” the nomination added.

“As an educator, I’ve learned that it is imperative to build a positive relationship with not only the students, but the parents, too,” Hopkins-Powell said.

Hopkins-Powell earned a bachelor’s degree in television production, then went on to earn two degrees from Wayne State University: a master’s degree in elementary education and a doctorate in educational administration.  She has been an educator for 32 years, all with the Pontiac School District, and has held a number of positions.

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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Houghton Lake Man Wins $25,000 a Year for Life Playing Lucky For Life

A Houghton Lake man is looking forward to some financial freedom after winning $25,000 a year for life playing the Michigan Lottery’s Lucky For Life game.

Mike Darocha, 69, matched the five white balls drawn March 19 – 17-26-31-32-45 – to win the big prize. He bought his winning ticket at the Country Peddler Store, located at 4845 East Houghton Lake Drive in Houghton Lake. It is the 19th time that a Michigan player has won a lifetime prize in the Lucky For Life game.

“My wife always checks our tickets, and she came to our living room and told me that I won,” said Darocha. “She said I won the second prize, but I had no idea it was this much!”

Darocha visited Lottery headquarters today to claim his prize. He chose to receive his winnings as a one-time lump sum payment of $390,000, rather than annuity payments for 20 years or life, whichever is greater. With his winnings, Darocha said he plans to buy “whatever he wants.”

“I’ve been retired for several years and maybe now I’ll be able to convince my wife to take a vacation with me,” Darocha said.

For just $2 per play, Lucky For Life gives Lottery players a chance to win prizes ranging from $3 to a lifetime of cash. To win the game’s top prize of $1,000 a day for life, players must match all five winning numbers ranging from 1 to 48, plus one Lucky Ball ranging from 1 to 18. Players who match all five winning numbers, but not the Lucky Ball, will win $25,000 a year for life. Lucky For Life drawings take place every Monday and Thursday at 10:35 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at Lottery retailers across the state.

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