Michiganders ran hot in lottery drawings this month, with a resident (or group of residents) winning the $1.05 billion Mega Millions jackpot drawing on Friday.
Following four separate smaller $1 million Michigan winners this month in the massive multi-state lottery jackpots (which included a top-10 Powerball pot), a grand prize Mega Millions jackpot ticket was sold at a Kroger supermarket located at 47650 Grand River Ave. in Novi, the Michigan Lottery announced.
“The Michigan Lottery won’t know the identity of the winner until that person contacts the Lottery,” the agency said in a press release. “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 $776.6 million. If a player selects the cash option, they will receive about $557 million after tax withholdings.”
It’s common for groups of people to pool their resources to purchase lottery tickets. Rumors circulated on social media that the winning ticket may belong to a group of a teachers at a local elementary school, but that was unconfirmed as of early Monday.
A local school principal said in a blog post Sunday that he had received countless messages that the ticket was purchased by a group of teachers at his school. The Michigan Lottery is asking that the winner contact its Public Relations Division at 517-373-1237 to set up an appointment to claim the prize.
People in Michigan are able to buy tickets to the drawings via the internet on smartphones or computers as well as at thousands of retail locations across the state.
Nearly a record jackpot
The jackpot was the third-largest in lottery history, about $500 million short of the record $1.58 billion set in 2016, which was split among three winning tickets. A $1.53 billion pot was won by a single ticket in 2018.
Winning the jackpot came with about 1-in-302.5 million odds. Below is another way of looking at it…
I knew I should have played Mega Millions. pic.twitter.com/9X58DhTRXq
— Eric Adelson (@eric_adelson) January 23, 2021
Record prize in Wolverine State
Until Friday night’s big win, the largest lottery prize ever won by a Michigan player was a $337 million Powerball jackpot won by Donald Lawson, of Lapeer, on Aug. 15, 2012. The largest Mega Millions prize in the state came on April 22, 2005, when a Port Huron couple, Ralph and Mary Stebbins, won $208 million.
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.
While Michigan’s online lottery options have been around for years, some people apparently still don’t realize you can buy tickets online.
Today I learned you can buy Michigan lottery tickets online and also pay for them with a credit card
— Katie (@KMWarchol) January 23, 2021
Will the name of the winner be public?
Under Michigan law, only winners of Michigan-only drawings can remain anonymous. The name(s) of the Mega Millions winner(s) will eventually be made public.
It appears that Michiganders would prefer that Mega Millions and Powerball winners also get the chance to remain anonymous, based on a poll by a Detroit journalist.
Quick poll: If #Michigan passed a law that allowed identity of Mega Millions/Powerball winner to remain anonymous would you still buy tickets? ((tune in to #TheNine @FOX2News at 9am))
— Ryan Ermanni (@RyanEFox2) January 25, 2021
The downside to allowing the winner to remain anonymous is, of course, opening up more potential for corruption. The counterpoint is that it protects the winner.
Mega Millions drawing in tweets
The spectacle of a life-changing gamble that offered astronomically long odds generated some humorous content in the social media world. Here’s a look at some fun ones.
Whoever won the mega millions in Detroit might as well buy Detroit
— lil duval (@lilduval) January 23, 2021
I had 3 of 5 numbers on my Mega Millions ticket I’m gonna go walk into the ocean now
— Melissa Stetten (@MelissaStetten) January 23, 2021
This is how I feel after winning $26 off my mega millions tickets pic.twitter.com/xNif4rZWzv
— President Airbud (@Airbudburner) January 22, 2021
Someone won the mega millions and it wasn’t me pic.twitter.com/mPYK2MpHre
— Steve Celano (@scelano23) January 23, 2021