The Michigan Lottery started in 1972, and since then, the lottery has grown in its popularity, and its menu of offerings has expanded significantly.
Michigan is one of the few states that offers online lottery games, including instant win games, Keno, and draw games like Powerball and Mega Millions. The state’s online lottery launched in 2014, and profits from the sale of tickets goes to the state’s School Aid Fund.
Michigan boasts a rich lottery history, including an impressive list of recent jackpot winners. The lottery’s database of winners goes back to 2009, and since that time, three Michigan Lottery players have won jackpots of over $300 million.
Let’s take a look at those three historic winners.
$310 million, Powerball, 2015
Julie Leach won a Powerball jackpot of over $300 million in 2015, a dream come true for the then-50-year-old Michigander.
“I have been in shock since I checked my ticket Thursday morning, and I don’t know if it will ever wear off,” Leach said.
The winner opted to receive her money in a lump sum, rather than an annuity. That resulted in her taking home about $140 million. It was (understandably) life-changing money for the winner.
“It’s wonderful to know that my kids will be taken care of and won’t have to work like I did. They’ll be able to enjoy life, and that makes me incredibly happy,” Leach said.
The winning ticket was purchased in Three Rivers at a gas station.
$337 million, Powerball, 2012
Donald Lawson won a massive jackpot in 2012, taking home over $200 million in a lump-sum payment on his $337 million jackpot win.
“I called my mom and told her I won $200,000 in the Lottery and she didn’t believe me,” Lawson said. “Finally I said: ‘Okay. I’ll tell you the truth. I won $337 million!’”
Lawson’s win was the biggest in Michigan Lottery history until 2021. It remains the largest Powerball jackpot win by any Michigan Lottery player. The winning ticket was bought in Lapeer.
$1.05 billion, Mega Millions, 2021
An Oakland Lottery club won a Mega Millions jackpot of $1.05 billion in 2021, setting the record for the largest jackpot ever won by a Michigan Lottery player. The club is made up of four players, according to local news sources.
The group accepted the winnings as a one-time lump-sum payment of roughly $775 million, which was brought down to just over $550 million after taxes. The winning ticket was bought at a Kroger in Novi.
“A club member saw a sign that the jackpot was up to $1 billion and remembered that they hadn’t bought their tickets yet, so they pulled into the Kroger,” the club’s representative and attorney, Kurt D. Panouses, told the Michigan Lottery. “When you play of course you dream of winning, but the reality of it has been incredible.”