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Niles Man Wins $1 Million Mega Millions Prize
A simple mistake turned out to be very lucky for a Niles man who won a $1 million Mega Millions prize from the Michigan Lottery.

Richard Hopper Sr., 69, matched the five white balls drawn in Friday's drawing to win the $1 million prize. He bought his winning ticket at the Sunrise Sunset Party Store, located at 1009 Huntly Road in Niles.

"When I stopped to buy my Mega Millions ticket, the clerk said he had accidentally printed an easy pick for another player who didn't want the ticket, and asked if I wanted to buy it or if I wanted another ticket," said Hopper. "I decided to buy the ticket that had already been printed off and boy, am I glad I did."

When Hopper checked his ticket Saturday morning, he thought he'd won $100,000.

"When I was looking at the winning numbers, I remember thinking 'boy, those look familiar,'" said Hopper. "At first I thought I had won $100,000 and I was pleasantly surprised when I learned I had really won $1 million."

"Sitting on $1 million all weekend was nerve wracking. It was definitely the longest weekend I've ever had."

Hopper visited Lottery headquarters in Lansing on Wednesday to claim his prize. With his winnings, he plans to pay off bills and save the remainder for a rainy day.
Dexter Man Wins $1 Million Mega Millions Prize
A Dexter man didn't know whether to laugh or cry after winning $1 million playing Mega Million.

John Rehm, 76, matched the five white balls drawn in Tuesday's drawing to win a $1 million prize. He bought his winning ticket at the Grand Party Store, located at 5760 Whitmore Lake Road in Brighton.

"A friend told me that a $1 million winning ticket was sold at the Grand Party Store so I went there to check my ticket," said Rehm. "When I had the clerk scan my ticket, she screamed: 'Oh my God! You’re the winner!'"

Rehm quickly tucked the winning ticket into his money clip and went home to tell his wife of 48 years, Tina, the good news. "When he walked in he looked terrible," said Tina. "I kept asking him what was going on, and he was kind of half laughing and half crying. He was acting so strange."

"The next thing I know, he blurted out: 'We won the Lottery!' I was stunned. I picked up to phone and called the Lottery just to see if he was right."

Once Lottery officials confirmed the news, the Rehms called their children.

"We could barely talk when we got on the phone with our kids," said Rehm. "It took a while to convince them we weren't playing a trick on them."

The Rehms visited Lottery headquarters Thursday to collect the $1 million prize. With their winnings, the couple plans to buy a boat and do some traveling with family.

"We've been very fortunate throughout our lives, and we're going to continue enjoying our life together," Rehm said.
Gary cashier wins $3 million in Mega Millions
2015 is ending on a high note for one Gary woman. LaTonya Barnes won $3 million in the Dec. 22 Mega Millions drawing. Barnes purchased her winning ticket at Triple S Save, 7510 Broadway in Merrillville and claimed her winnings Dec. 28 at Hoosier Lottery headquarters in Indianapolis, IN.

The Lake County woman's ticket matched the first five numbers, but did not match the Mega Ball number, which typically carries a prize of $1 million. Because Barnes added the Megaplier for an extra dollar, she multiplied her winnings by three and walked away with $3 million before taxes.

Barnes said she plays the Lottery only "once in a blue moon" and described her win as "unbelievable."

As for her winnings, the lucky cashier says she plans to "share with family" and is looking forward to "no more money stress."
Topeka Resident Claims $1 Million Mega Millions Cash Prize
A Topeka, Kansas resident has claimed a "mega" cash prize in the December 18 Mega Millions drawing. The lucky winner, who wished to remain anonymous, matched the first five Mega Millions numbers but not the Megaball to win a $1 million cash prize!

"Saturday morning, I was out Christmas shopping and I happened to check my phone and saw I had five missed calls from my husband," said the winner. "I thought something must have happened to our grandson because he's been having health issues. When I called my husband back, he said he had checked our Mega Millions ticket and we had won $1 million. I couldn't believe it. I was completely shocked. What a great thing to happen right before Christmas."

The lucky winner, who always picks her own winning numbers, has been playing Mega Millions for several years and has won $5,000 a couple of times.

"My husband and I pick our own numbers," said the winner. "The numbers we pick don't have any significance. We don't use birthdays or anniversaries. We look to see what numbers haven't hit in a while and go from there."

Their strategy paid off in Friday night's drawing. The winning numbers they picked were 6-23-24-28-62 Megaball 14. The winning numbers in the December 18 drawing were 6-23-24-28-62 Megaball 7.

"Even though we were one number from winning the jackpot, we are beside ourselves about winning $1 million," the winner said. "We plan to pay off bills, buy a new Harley and a newer car and the rest we'll save for our retirement."

The winning ticket was purchased at Huntington Park Amoco, located at 3120 Gage Blvd. in Topeka. For selling the $1 million cash prize, the store is eligible for a $1,000 selling bonus.
Howell Man Wins $1 Million Mega Millions Prize from Michigan Lottery
A Howell man is ready to help his family after winning $1 million playing the Michigan Lottery's Mega Millions game.

Lawrence Kopczyk, 70, won $1 million by matching the five white balls drawn in the Dec. 8 Mega Millions drawing: 07-17-37-49-73. He bought his winning ticket at the VG's gas station, located at 2392 West Grand River Avenue in Howell.

"My grandson helped me pick my numbers and when he heard that someone had bought a winning ticket at the VG's we went to, he told me he was sure I was the winner," said Kopczyk. "Even after he told me that, I waited a day to check my ticket".

"I sat down and checked the numbers one-by-one. Once I circled the fifth number, I yelled: 'I finally did it!'"

Kopczyk visited Lottery headquarters with his wife and two of his three children on Monday to claim his prize.

In addition to a $1 million winner, Kopczyk's ticket also included a $1 winner for matching the Mega Ball - 15 - drawn on Dec. 8.

"Winning $1 million is incredible," said Kopczyk. "If that '15' had been a couple of lines lower, it would have taken a team of morticians to get the smile off of my face."

If Kopczyk had matched the five white balls and Mega Ball on the same line, he would have won the $57 million Mega Millions jackpot.

With his winnings, the retired Kopczyk plans to pay off his home and bills, supplement his retirement income, travel, and help his family.

"I've played the Lottery for 30 years, and one of the reasons I've always played was to help my family out. Finally being able to do that means everything to me," Kopczyk said.
Detroit Man Wins $1 Million Mega Millions Prize from Michigan Lottery
A Detroit man promised his wife "the best Christmas of her life," but didn't tell her it's because he won $1 million playing the Michigan Lottery's Mega Millions game.

Michael Williams, 60, won $1 million after matching the five white balls drawn in Friday night's Mega Millions drawing: 14-20-43-54-69. He bought his winning ticket at the L&F Mini Mart, located at 9801 Linwood Street in Detroit.

"A co-worker told me that the L&F market had sold a big winner for Friday's Mega Millions drawing and I immediately went home to check my ticket," said Williams. "When I saw I had matched five numbers I screamed 'Oh my God!'"

Williams kept the news about his big win quiet, wanting to surprise his wife with the check he got on Monday.

"I dropped little hints all weekend, but I don't think she suspects that I won $1 million," said Williams. "I am going to buy her a house for Christmas."

After buying a new home, Williams plans to save the rest of his prize for retirement.

"I've been playing the Lottery for a long, long time and to finally win is just incredible," Williams said.
Kearney Lottery Group Claims $1 Million Mega Millions Prize
A group of seven coworkers has won $1 million playing Mega Millions from the Nebraska Lottery.

For the past four years, lottery players at Baldwin Filters in Kearney have pooled their money to buy Nebraska Lottery Mega Millions tickets. In the November 24 drawing, they purchased a quick pick ticket at Thirsty's, 3004 West Highway 30 in Kearney. One play on the five-play ticket matched all five of the winning white ball numbers (02, 19, 30, 38, 70) for $1 million.

The members of the winning group are: Randall Faltys of Kearney; Bradley Schroeder of Miller; Todd Meier of Kearney; Zachery Harris of Kearney; Kenny Eckel of Gibbon; Boyd Vinzant of Minden; and William Dixon of Hildreth. Each will receive a $142,857 share of the prize.

All seven group members travelled to Nebraska Lottery headquarters on November 30. They indicated that they were "stunned" and "amazed" to learn they had won after checking the winning numbers with the Nebraska Lottery mobile app. When asked about their plans, members mentioned paying bills using their share of the winnings.
Kent County Man Wins $1 Million Mega Millions Prize
A lucky Kent County man is busy counting cash after winning $1 million playing the Michigan Lottery's Mega Millions game. Michael Hicks, of Comstock Park, won $1 million in Friday's Mega Millions drawing after matching the five white balls drawn: 05-11-31-50-67. Hicks bought his winning ticket at the D&W Quick Stop, located at 1810 Breton Road Southeast in Grand Rapids.

"I wasn't even going to buy a ticket for Friday's drawing,” said Hicks. "I had to make a quick stop for gas and that's when I bought the ticket."

The 34 year-old Hicks found out a couple of days later that his unplanned Lottery purchase turned out to be very lucky.

"I check my tickets every few days, and when I scanned my Mega Millions ticket the scanner said to see the clerk. I tried to scan it again and got the same message," said Hicks. "I gave the ticket to the clerk and they told me that I won more than $600 and I needed to go to the Lottery office.

"I went over to the Lottery’s Grand Rapids office and when they looked over the ticket they told me I'd won $1 million. I couldn't believe what they were saying. It just didn't seem real."

Hicks put his ticket in a safe until he came to Lottery headquarters in Lansing on Wednesday to collect his big prize. Hicks plans to set aside a portion of his winnings to pay for his son's college education. He also plans to pay off his bills and buy a new home.

"When I found out I won, it was like all of my stress immediately disappeared," Hicks said. “"Just a couple of weeks ago I was sitting at home wondering what I was going to do because times were getting really rough. Now I don't have to worry about that any more."
Noel Man Claims Missouri's First Mega Million Jackpot
A Noel man came forward Aug. 4 to claim Missouri's first Mega Millions jackpot. Raul Ahumada, 60, said he plays several Missouri Lottery games, including Mega Millions. When he checked his tickets on Aug. 3, he thought he had won $25,000. It wasn't until he took his ticket to the Lottery's Springfield office that he discovered he actually won $25 million.

Ahumada, who works at a chicken processing plant, said he and his wife, Rosa, plan to "try to find a nice mountain home and stay there." He also plans to go back to Mexico to visit his family and his mom's grave.

"It's been 15 years since he's been back to Mexico," his son, Raul Jr., explained.

He also may buy a "nice car" and possibly retire in the near future.

Ahumada purchased his winning ticket at Rio Alce convenience store, 441 N. Highway 59, in Noel. He let the computer select the number combination on his winning ticket for the July 31 drawing.
Virginia Man Claims $91.8 Million Mega Millions Jackpot in Pennsylvania
Steven Peloquin, of Mechanicsville, Virginia, claimed a $91.8 million Mega Millions jackpot from the July 21, 2015, drawing.

Lottery Executive Director Drew Svitko today presented a ceremonial check for $91,781,644.00 to Mr. Peloquin, holder of the single jackpot-winning ticket from that drawing.

The winning ticket correctly matched all five white balls, 20-30-62-65-74, plus the Megaball, 01. The ticket had an annuity value of $153 million or a cash value of $91.8 million, less 25 percent federal withholding.

Peloquin, a professional truck driver for nearly 30 years, purchased the ticket at Penn 80/Flying J Travel Plaza, 1460 N. Ridge Road, Milton, Northumberland County, while traveling through Pennsylvania for work. The plaza, a Lottery retailer since September 2010, earns a $100,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket.

Peloquin didn't check his ticket for several days.

"I was getting ready to turn in last Saturday night when I went online to check my numbers," Peloquin said. "Needless to say, I didn't get to sleep that night."

He then took a photo of the ticket and shared it with several close relatives, who confirmed that his ticket matched the winning numbers.

Peloquin said the jackpot win will enable him and his wife to retire early and spend more time with their family.

This afternoon, Peloquin presented the Mega Millions ticket for validation at Lottery headquarters in Middletown, Dauphin County. Lottery officials confirmed it was the jackpot-winning ticket after examining the ticket and executing proprietary security measures.
Lucky Catch! Utah Man Claims $1,000,000 Mega Millions Ticket
About two weeks ago, Jay Cranney of Sandy, Utah was competing in a fishing tournament in southeastern Idaho, near Clifton. After the tournament was over, Cranney headed back to Utah and made a stop at La Tienda in Franklin to pick up a few Idaho Lottery tickets including a multi-draw Mega Millions ticket.

"It had been a few days since I checked all of my tickets, so I knew I needed to catch up,”"explained Cranney who checked all of his tickets last Saturday. "I looked, and looked, and looked, just to be sure I wasn't seeing things. All those numbers matched up."

Cranney, who selects his own numbers, matched the first five numbers but not the Mega Ball and won $1,000,000 in last Friday night's Mega Millions draw.

"I did alright in the fishing tournament," said Cranney on his visit to the Gem State. "But I got a lucky catch on Mega Millions!"

With his winnings, Cranney plans to pay off some outstanding debts, buy himself a new bass fishing boat, and then invest his remain amount.

Asked where he was headed when he left Boise with his winnings, Cranney replied, "Going fishing. There's another tournament tomorrow!"
High school locker combos crack $1M Mega Millions prize
A Mableton man has cracked the code on winning a $1M prize using locker combinations from his freshman and sophomore years of high school from over four decades ago.

Henry "Calvin" Nash, a 1972 Pebblebrook High School graduate, won $1 million from matching the first five winning numbers from the June 2 Mega Millions drawing.

"Numbers stick in my head," he explained in remembering his locker combinations.

Nash, 63, and his wife, Brenda, were high school sweethearts.

They claimed the prize June 3 at Georgia Lottery headquarters in Atlanta.

Married 40 years, the couple both own shiny Harley-Davidson motorcycles. They plan to continue taking trips and enjoying life together.

Nash got the peachy surprise when he checked the results of the June 2 drawing on his computer the following day.

"I saw the Nos. 2 and 9, and said, 'Hey I've got that,'" Nash exclaimed.

The winning numbers from the June 2 Mega Millions drawing were: 02-09-11-22-23 and the Mega Ball was 12.

Publix Super Market #1112, 1025 Veterans Memorial Highway S.E. in Mableton, sold the winning ticket.
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