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Michigan Lottery Player Wins $1 Billion Mega Millions Jackpot

A Michigan Lottery player has won the third-largest lottery prize in history, the $1 billion Mega Millions jackpot.

The lucky player’s winning ticket matched all of the numbers drawn Friday night – 04-26-42-50-60 – and the Mega Ball 24. The winning ticket was bought at Kroger, located at 47650 Grand River Avenue in Novi. The Michigan Lottery won’t know the identity of the winner until that person contacts the Lottery.

Friday night’s drawing was the 37th Mega Millions drawing since a $120 million jackpot was won Sept. 15 in Wisconsin.

The winner will have two options to collect the record prize. The first is an escalating annuity that offers an initial payment, then annual payments for 29 years. The player also may select a one-time cash payment of about $739 million. If a player selects the cash option, they will receive about $530 million after tax withholdings.

Friday night’s Mega Millions jackpot is the third-largest lottery jackpot ever won in the United States. The national and world record for a lottery jackpot is $1.586 billion. That Powerball jackpot was won on Jan. 13, 2016, and split between three winning tickets (California, Florida, and Tennessee).

Until Friday night’s big win, the largest Lottery prize ever won by a Michigan player was a $337 million Powerball jackpot. Donald Lawson, of Lapeer, won that jackpot on Aug. 15, 2012. The largest Mega Millions prize ever won in the state was won on April 22, 2005. A Port Huron couple, Ralph and Mary Stebbins, won $208 million playing Mega Millions.

The last Michigan player to win a Mega Millions jackpot was Kevin Blake, of Waterford. Blake won half of the game’s $42 million jackpot in October 2017. The other winning ticket was purchased in Rhode Island.

The lucky winner of the jackpot should contact the Lottery’s Public Relations Division at 517-373-1237 to set up an appointment to claim their prize.

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

A Macomb County educator known for adapting and overcoming challenges has been honored with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.

The award winner, Molly DeBono, is a first-grade teacher at Erie Elementary School which is part of Chippewa Valley 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 news segment featuring DeBono will air this evening in Grand Rapids and Lansing, and then on Thursday in Saginaw and Detroit.

DeBono was inspired by her second-grade teacher to become an educator.

“Growing up, my family moved a lot. I attended about five different schools in five different states before 5th grade. It was not easy always being ‘the new student,’” said DeBono. “Every single teacher I had welcomed me with love and kindness.

“I remember my second-grade teacher specifically. We just moved to Connecticut and I was having an especially hard time adjusting. She gave me a job to take care of the class pet. I looked forward to this job each day. I felt a sense of belonging in the classroom because of this responsibility I was given. I moved at the end of that year and this teacher continued to write to me and stay in touch with me. I look back on each one of these teachers that all added something special to my life.

“It always amazed me that in such a short time, they were able to leave such a lasting imprint in my life. I knew that I wanted to pay it forward and be that person to my future students.”

She said her students are her favorite part of being an educator.

“They are my reason and my favorite part of being a teacher. They bring so much joy and light to my day. They come to school each day like sponges, ready to soak up all that I am ready to teach them. No matter what is going on in their lives or the world around them, they show up with an abundance of love to give. Their stories and laughter fill my heart.”

A parent nominated DeBono for the award. The nomination cited her ability to adapt and take on challenges.

“Mrs. DeBono did an amazing job of adapting and overcoming the challenges that were thrown at her this year. She did everything she could to stay connected with her students—she set up biweekly zoom calls with the whole class so the students who had become a school family were able to stay connected with each other in this challenging time.

“Mrs. DeBono made a Facebook group for her students and the families to stay connected. She went live every night at 7 p.m. to read the kids a “bedtime” story, many times with her own girls included. When school was in session she started reading to the kids about Freddie and she was able to pick up the books from her classroom and finish them with the kids before school ended. Mrs. DeBono is more than your average teacher just there to teach the kids how to read, write and do math. She teaches them how to care and love one another.”

DeBono earned a bachelor’s degree from Oakland University. She has been an educator for nine years, including four as a first-grade teacher.

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.

Michigan Lottery Connect Michigan Lottery Player Wins $1 Billion Mega Millions Jackpot A Michigan Lottery player has won the third-largest lottery prize in history, the $1 billion Mega

MI lottery goes on despite stay-at-home mandate

by: Barton Deiters

Posted: Mar 30, 2020 / 05:00 PM EDT / Updated: Mar 30, 2020 / 06:29 PM EDT

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The lottery in Michigan is big business, bringing in $3.58 billion in revenue for the state.

When Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued her order closing non-essential business, the lottery claim centers closed their doors.

But in-person lottery sales at grocery, convenience stores and elsewhere are still allowed.

That concerns Theresa Prelesnik, a cashier at a Muskegon-area convenience store and deli where she was selling lottery tickets until she told her boss she couldn’t keep taking the risks.

“They hand me money with their gloves on, they’re protected, I’m not,” Prelesnik said Monday.

And since lottery sales are cash only, it is impossible to avoid contact or stay the suggested six feet away.

“We do have some people who will reach inside of their shirts and pull money out from under their bras. Very, very disgusting,” Prelesnik said.

She says while most lottery players are good folks, some are not following the rules.

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“I actually have some people that will come through and dig through the garbage and pull out lottery tickets to turn them in to see if they’re winners or not,” Prelesnik said.

News 8 reached out multiple times Monday to Gov. Whitmer’s office and lottery officials. Michigan lottery spokesperson Jeff Holyfield finally responded via e-mail — the only way he would respond.

The email says the lottery is encouraging social distancing and staying home.

“The Lottery urges players to follow the Governor’s Stay Home, Stay Safe order and only visit a store to buy food, fuel or other necessary items. The retail locations permitted to be open to the public under the order may sell all of their products, including Lottery tickets to their customers. “

But Prelesnik says lottery buyers are not there for food and fuel.

“About 90% are getting strictly lottery when they’re buying lottery, nothing else,” Prelesnik said.

She said she believes quality customers will appreciate the fact that stores are being especially careful and will support small businesses even more.

“I just think the ones that are strictly coming out for lottery and ignoring the governor’s stay-at-home rules, I just wish it would stop, I wish they would be a little more considerate,” Prelesnik said. “I’m just trying to get people to think and I wish the governor would shut down those sales just to get a little more people staying home.”

At the time this story was published, Gov. Whitmer’s office had not respond to News 8’s requests for a statement.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

When Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued her order closing non-essential business, the lottery claim centers closed their doors.