Detroit Man Wins $100,000 Poker Lotto Prize

A Detroit man feels blessed after winning $100,000 playing the Michigan Lottery’s Poker Lotto game.

The lucky player, who chose to remain anonymous, matched the cards drawn on Jan. 4: jack of clubs, queen of spades, seven of hearts, nine of hearts, and four of diamonds. The player bought his winning ticket at the Royal Liquor store, located at 30444 West 8 Mile Road in Farmington Hills.

“I play the Poker Lotto game often,” said the 42-year-old player. “I was checking the numbers online the night of the drawing and when I saw I had matched them all, I was in disbelief. I just sat there staring and my whole body was numb.”

The player visited Lottery headquarters recently to claim his prize. With his winnings, he plans to take care of his family: “Winning this prize is surreal, it feels like such a blessing!”

Poker Lotto offers players two great games in every hand: a chance to win instantly right in the store and walk out with a cash prize from $2 to $500; plus, a nightly lotto drawing with prizes ranging from $3 to the grand prize of $100,000. Each Poker Lotto play is $2 and may be purchased at Lottery retailers across the state.

Players should keep in mind that the nightly drawing is an entirely separate game from the instant-win game played when they purchase a ticket. Winning the instant-win game is based on whether they are dealt a winning poker hand. The nightly drawing is exclusively a matching game. Cards from the nightly drawing are not used to form a winning poker hand. To win a prize in the nightly drawing, a player must match two or more cards with the cards drawn.

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Arenac County Man Wins $500,000 Playing the Michigan Lottery’s Holiday Sparkle Instant Game

An Arenac County man didn’t believe his eyes when he won $500,000 playing the Michigan Lottery’s Holiday Sparkle instant game.

The 37-year-old player, who chose to remain anonymous, bought his winning ticket at the Rich gas station, located at 320 South Main Street in Standish.

“I bought two Holiday Sparkle tickets, but never really imagined I would win big,” said the player. “I scratched the $500,000 winner first and thought my eyes were playing tricks on me!

“I looked it over a bunch of times, but I’m still in shock about it really. Once I deposit the check, it’ll finally feel real!”

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

Players have won more than $18 million playing Holiday Sparkle, which launched in October 2019. Each $10 ticket offers players a chance to win prizes ranging from $10 up to $500,000. More than $7 million in prizes remain, including one top prize of $500,000 and seven $2,000 prizes.

Lottery instant games may be purchased at 10,500 retailers across the state.

In 2019, Lottery players won more than $1.2 billion playing instant games.

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Montmorency County Woman Wins $300,000 Playing the Michigan Lottery’s Bingo Slots Instant Game

Elizabeth White and her boyfriend, Tyler Woodward, smile after claiming White's $300,000 prize.

Elizabeth White and her boyfriend, Tyler Woodward, smile after claiming White’s $300,000 prize.

A Montmorency County woman won a life-changing $300,000 playing the Michigan Lottery’s Bingo Slots instant game.

“I recently started playing the Bingo games,” said Elizabeth White, of Lewiston. “I bought a few of the Bingo Slots tickets and began scratching them off one by one. I finished scratching one and thought, ‘Shoot, I was only a few away from winning $300,000.’”

“I had my boyfriend check over the ticket and he realized I had missed a few and actually had a blackout,” said White. “We both couldn’t believe it, I felt sick to my stomach because I was so excited!”

Winning Ticket

Winning Ticket

White bought her winning ticket at the Sunrise Store, located at 4791 Salling Avenue in Lewiston.

“Winning a prize like this is life-changing,” said the 33-year-old player. “It feels amazing and overwhelming.”

White visited Lottery headquarters Monday to claim the big prize. With her winnings, she plans to buy a home for her and her family.

Players have won more than $2 million playing Bingo Slots, which launched in December. Each $5 ticket offers players a chance to win prizes ranging from $5 up to $300,000. More than $17 million in prizes remain, including two top prizes of $300,000, five $12,000 prizes, 10 $10,000 prizes, 32 $2,000 prizes, and 47 $1,000 prizes.

Lottery instant games may be purchased at 10,500 retailers across the state.

In 2018, Lottery players won more than $1 billion playing instant games.

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Michigan Lottery Raises Record-Breaking $1.07 Billion for Michigan Schools in 2019

The Michigan Lottery raised more than $1.07 billion for Michigan schools in fiscal year 2019, an increase of nearly $129 million over the prior year’s contribution. This marks the largest one-year increase in the Lottery’s 47-year history and the first time the Lottery has reached the $1 billion milestone in support for public education in a single year.

FY 2019 also was the Lottery’s fifth straight record-setting year for school contributions, an increase of about $327 million, or 44%, since fiscal year 2014, before the streak began.  School contributions over the prior five years were:

  • FY18: $941.3 million
  • FY17: $924.1 million
  • FY16: $888.9 million
  • FY15: $795.5 million
  • FY14: $742.9 million

Since 1972, the Lottery has generated more than $23.4 billion for public education in Michigan.

“This vital funding for our schools would not be possible without the support of our players and retailers, which we greatly appreciate,” said Commissioner Brian O. Neill. “Every Lottery purchase helps raise revenue for schools in our state.”

The Lottery set several other significant records in fiscal year 2019, including nearly $3.9 billion in sales; more than $2.3 billion in prizes to players; and more than $287 million in commissions to Lottery retailers, many of which are small, family-owned businesses across the state. “Our 2019 performance reflects the incredible work done by the retailers, vendors, and the exceptionally dedicated teams that make this organization a success,” said Neill.

The Lottery is also proud of its commitment to promoting responsible gaming. Michigan was the first state lottery to receive certification of its online program through the National Council on Problem Gambling and also has attained Responsible Gaming Verification through the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries. Responsible gaming information and resources are available on the Lottery’s website at: www.michiganlottery.com/responsible-gaming.

For each dollar spent on a Michigan Lottery ticket in fiscal year 2019, approximately:

  • 61 cents went to players as prizes
  • 27 cents went to the School Aid Fund to support public education
  • 9 cents went to commissions for retailers and vendors
  • 3 cents funded the Lottery’s operations and administrative costs

Under state law, all profits from the Lottery go to the School Aid Fund.

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

Haley Schulz Cucinello (right) poses for a photo with Michigan Lottery public relations director, Jeff Holyfield, after accepting her Excellence in Education Award.

Haley Schulz Cucinello (right) poses for a photo with Michigan Lottery public relations director, Jeff Holyfield, after accepting her Excellence in Education Award.

A Huron County educator known for her dedication to help students reach their full potential and for helping them develop as leaders through school and community programs has been honored with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.

The award winner, Haley Schulz Cucinello, teaches high school agricultural science and serves as the FFA advisor for the Elkton-Pigeon-Bayport Laker Schools in Pigeon.

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 Schulz Cucinello will air this evening in Grand Rapids and Lansing, and then on Thursday in Saginaw and Detroit.

Schulz Cucinello said the teachers she had as a student inspired her to pursue a career in education.  “I had excellent teacher role models throughout my time in elementary and high school. They showed me that education didn’t have to be based on a lecture approach, it should be fun and engaging.”

She said the students are her favorite part of being an educator. “My students are some of my favorite people. They are my favorite part of every day. To me, going to school each day is a privilege. Building meaningful relationships with them is what I cherish the most.

“The potential of my students drives me each day. Helping them to reach beyond what they think they’re capable of is what I strive to do each day.  My goal is to help them become confident young leaders.”

The Excellence in Education award nomination for Schulz Cucinello said that she has “dedicated herself to her students to help them see their potential and achieve their dreams.”

“Haley actively seeks ways to increase student involvement in the classroom, school and community. She feels that by doing this, students take ownership of their learning because there is a vested interested in what they’re learning,” the nomination said, adding that as agricultural science teacher and FFA advisor “she has many roles, from farm manager, public speaking coach, greenhouse manager and supporter of students in and out of the classroom.”

Haley Schulz Cucinello is interviewed after being presented with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.

Haley Schulz Cucinello is interviewed after being presented with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.

The nomination noted during her five years as FFA advisor at Laker Schools, Schulz Cucinello – a former FFA member and state officer – has had “six national qualifying teams, 14 state champion teams, four FFA state officers, and countless degree recipients of various forms. She has dedicated herself to her students for them to see their potential, and achieve their dreams.”

“Additionally, she hosts numerous local events, but if you ask her what her favorite is, it is her FFA program’s ‘Living to Serve’ phone-a-thon. Students call local business and individuals asking for donations. The funds raised support students in their school that may experience tragedy or hardship and local Meals on Wheels programs and area food pantries.”

Schulz Cucinello earned a bachelor of science degree from Michigan State University, where she majored in environmental studies in agriscience and minored in integrated leadership and community engagement and education.  She has been an educator for five years, all with Elkton-Pigeon-Bayport Laker Schools.

Outstanding public school educators may be nominated for an Excellence in Education award at http://bit.ly/ExcellenceInEducation or through the websites of the Lottery’s media partner stations.

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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