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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.
Friends Share $262 million Mega Millions Jackpot
Blue Island residents John Williams and Neal Logue are sharing the second-largest prize in Illinois Lottery history. After occasionally buying lottery tickets together for the past twelve years, the two friends hit the jackpot when the first row of numbers on their $5 Mega Millions ticket matched all six numbers to win $262 million in the Tuesday, June 2nd drawing. This was the only ticket - among the many Mega Millions tickets purchased in 44 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands-to match all six numbers.

The day after the drawing, Logue called the Illinois Lottery hotline to hear the winning numbers. The friends immediately signed the back of the ticket and Logue put it in his wallet.

The Blue Island store that sold the $262 million winning Mega Millions ticket is Supermercado Imelda, 13036 South Western Avenue. The retailer received a $500,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket.
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.
Navy veteran wins $1 million, aims to support good causes
A Navy veteran from Burgaw said that winning $1 million in Tuesday's Mega Millions drawing means he can pay off his mortgage, share with his family, and donate to his church and the Wounded Warriors Project.

In less than 12 hours after the drawing, Charlie Thur went from realizing he had a winning ticket, to discovering he won $1 million, to collecting his prize money at lottery headquarters in Raleigh.

Thur, who served for 20 years in the military, was watching television at around 4:30 a.m. this morning when the winning numbers from the night before appeared on the broadcast. Thur's ticket matched all five white balls, but not the gold Mega Ball, beating odds of 1 in 18.5 million.

"I knew I'd won something," he recalled. "I just didn't know how much."

To find out, Thur took his ticket back to the store where he purchased it, the Food Lion on U.S. 117 North Bypass in Burgaw, and asked the clerk to scan his ticket.

"The terminal made a funny sound," he said. "They told me I had to go to Raleigh."

Thur waited until 8 a.m. for the lottery's customer service line to open and called to find out the size of his prize. The representative he talked to gave him the good news.

"She told me, 'You won a million,'" he said.

After required state and federal withholdings, Thur received a check for $692,500. He said he will share some of his winnings with his two daughters and establish college funds for his two granddaughters.
16 co-workers at Manhattan biotech company split $58,000,000 Mega Millions jackpot
Sixteen co-workers in the Manhattan office of biopharmaceutical company Ophthotech pooled their money last month for a shot at the $58,000,000 Mega Millions jackpot drawn on March 24 and walked away multi-millionaires.

The winners calling themselves the "Lucky 16 Trust" is comprised of New York Lottery players from Accord (Ulster County); the Bronx; Brooklyn; Queens; and Manhattan as well as eight New Jersey residents and another who shuttles between New York and her home in California.

Group spokeswoman and company COO Evelyn Harrison said the Lucky 16 represent senior executives, administrative staff "and everyone in between."

The lucky colleagues have been playing together since 2010 with a brief hiatus last year during the company's reorganization. Harrison said individual office pool members contribute $4 weekly toward the purchase of multi-state game tickets.

"We rotate who buys the tickets and the stores where we buy to be fair to everyone," Harrison said. "We also require the buyer to send copies of the ticket to everyone in the group so we all have it."

The group, she said, is not nearly as organized when it comes to checking the winning numbers.

"There was a lot of buzz around the office following the drawing as everyone learned the jackpot winner was sold in our building," she laughed. "A few of us decided we should probably check our numbers and we went from one person's computer to another's checking each person's scan of the ticket because we wanted to be absolutely sure. Once we were convinced, we sent an email to everyone else to tell them to check out the winning numbers for themselves."

Matthew Jung, one of the Lucky 16 who accompanied Harrison to claim the ticket, said members of the group later huddled in a conference room to let the news sink in and to do some jumping around.

"There was a lot of energy in that room. We told ourselves to focus on work like nothing had happened. But, something DID happen, and, to be honest, we didn't accomplish a lot that day. It's been a very intense ride," he said.

The beneficiaries of the Lucky 16 Trust will split a one-time cash payment of $38,334,435 (net $25,369,729). Each winner will receive a 6.25 percent share of the prize which amounts to more than $1.65 million.

The group's plans for the money range from paying off school loans and mortgages to investing for retirement.

Harrison said the group has pledged to watch out for one another. "We're a small group. We ground each other. We won't let anyone get carried away.”

The jackpot-winning ticket was purchased at Carlton Cards at One Penn Plaza in Manhattan.
Detroit Man Wins $1 Million Mega Millions Prize
A Detroit man is on the fast track to retirement after winning $1 million playing the Michigan Lottery's Mega Millions game.

Fred Morgan matched the first five winning numbers drawn on April 17 to win the big prize. He bought his winning ticket at the Mobil gas station, located at 25828 Ford Road in Dearborn Heights.

"I checked my ticket the day after the drawing and it wouldn't scan in the self-scanner," said Morgan. "I asked the clerk to check it for me and he said: 'It looks like you've got something here, you'd better sign it.'

"I left thinking I'd won $10,000 and called my wife on my way home to share the good news. I looked at the prize table when I got home and I was speechless."

Morgan was in shock and couldn't believe he was a millionaire.

"I felt full all over and couldn't eat or sleep for three days," he said.

Morgan and his wife hid the winning ticket in various spots around their home, including in a container of flour, while they put together a financial plan before claiming the prize.

"We watched that ticket carefully," said Morgan. "We thought somebody may look in the sugar jar, but no one would ever check for anything valuable in the flour."

A letter carrier for the U.S. Postal Service for 31 years, Morgan's big win has accelerated his retirement plans.

"I started cleaning out my locker at work and my boss asked me what was going on," said Morgan. "I told him 'I got a million and I'm retiring!'

"At first, he and my co-workers thought I was joking, but they couldn't be happier about my good fortune."

After retirement, Morgan and his wife plan to travel and enjoy life.

"I can't even really put into words how this feels, but I do know I feel relieved and excited!"
Largest Prize in Illinois Lottery History is claimed! Naperville Man Wins $265million Mega Millions Jackpot
Naperville resident Jesus Davila Jr. became the winner of the largest prize in Illinois Lottery history when the first line of numbers on his $5 Quick Pick ticket matched all six numbers (26 - 32 - 44 - 45 - 58 - MB 11) to win the jackpot in the Friday, January 16 Mega Millions drawing. That day, he was the only person, among the millions who bought tickets in 44 states, Washington DC, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, to match all six numbers.

Today Illinois Lottery officials presented Davila a $265 million oversized check at the James R Thompson Center in Chicago to commemorate his history-making win.

"I've been lucky enough to meet the two largest lottery winners in the proud history of the Illinois Lottery: the $218 million winner in March 2012 from Red Bud Illinois, and now Mr. Davila from nearby Naperville. His experience, as was the case in beautiful Red Bud, proves that anything's possible," said Lottery Director Michael Jones.

Davila was at home the evening of January 16 and, as he watched the televised Mega Millions drawing, he wrote the winning numbers on a piece of paper. When he compared them to the numbers on his ticket, he thought he had matched the first five numbers to win $1million. He showed the ticket to his son who double-checked it and immediately realized that his father's ticket had actually matched all six numbers to win the jackpot! "My son said, 'You have every number here, Dad' and then we started shouting, 'We're millionaires! We're millionaires!' and we couldn't stop giggling and laughing!" Davila said.

After spending a couple weeks consulting with family members and professional financial advisors, Davila was ready to come forward and claim his prize. He was calm and quiet as he removed the folded $265 million winning ticket from the front pocket of his jeans, smoothed out the creases, and presented it to staff at the Illinois Lottery Prize Center in Des Plaines two weeks ago.

Davila, 70, is a retired, professional driver. Originally from Puerto Rico, he came to the United States when he was only six years old and lived in Chicago until five years ago when he moved to Naperville to be closer to family. He has three sons, one daughter, and four grandchildren. He plans to share the windfall with his family, invest, and donate to his favorite charities. "I would also like to buy a big house with a really big lawn… and a riding lawn mower!"

Davila opted to take his prize as a one-time payment of $178,091,398. After the required withholding (25 percent federal, 3.75 percent state), Davila will receive a payment of $126,890,121. The Glendale Heights store that sold the $265 million winning Mega Millions ticket is Bucky's Express, 1202 Bloomingdale Road. The retailer received a $500,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket. "It's worth noting that during the run up to this enormous Mega Millions prize, tickets sales generated more than $10 million for the state's Common School Fund," said Jones.
The New York Lottery's Yolanda Vega today presented a Mega-sized ceremonial prize check to Harold Diamond, 80, of Wurtsboro, Sullivan County. The retired Elementary School Principal was the sole winner of a $326 million Mega Millions jackpot drawn on November 4, 2014. Vega introduced the soft-spoken winner at the Valero on Route 302 in Middletown where he purchased his life-changing ticket.

"My wife and I were driving to Middletown for dinner after voting on Election Day but the weather made us rethink our plans," said the 39-year veteran of the Monticello School District who served as Principal at George L. Cook Elementary in Monticello before retiring in 1995. "My wife insisted we stop here to eat and wait for the weather to clear, and I reluctantly agreed."

Diamond noticed the Mega Millions jackpot flashing on the Lottery terminal as he ate at the Subway shop located within the Valero and decided to spend $10 for 10 sets of Quick Pick numbers for that evening's drawing.

"I put the ticket in my wallet and forgot about it," he said matter-of-factly. "I went to play golf the next day and the guys in the clubhouse were talking about the jackpot-winning ticket someone bought at a Valero on Route 302 and I thought, wait a minute - I bought a ticket there last night!"

Diamond said he dashed home to catch the winning numbers on the evening news and saw the six numbers drawn matched the second set of Quick Pick numbers printed on his ticket making him the sole winner of the largest jackpot ever claimed in New York.

"I was in a dither; a real daze," he recalled.

Diamond said he owes his new fortune to his wife Carol, a 36-year veteran of the Goshen school district where she taught math at Goshen High School before retiring in 1994.

"I have to thank her with both barrels because if it weren't for her insistence, we would not be here today," he said.

Diamond said he has been working with a financial advisor to plan for what comes next, but concedes it’s an awesome task.

"I simply can't envision that kind of money," he laughed, shaking his head. "It's very hard to fathom. We feel very blessed."

Diamond opted to take the cash value of the annuitized prize, earning him a single lump sum payment totaling $197,456,087. His net check will total $130,676,438 after required withholdings. Preliminary plans for the money include helping family and "giving back to the local community."
West Virginia Lottery Director John Musgrave introduced the "Fabulous Five," a group of five co-workers from the Kanawha County Emergency Ambulance Authority, as the state's latest winners of a $1 million Mega Millions prize at a press conference in Charleston, Wednesday.

The group, which was playing the lottery as an office pool for the first time, consists of Brenda Rader of South Charleston, Carla Curry of Marmet, Jordan Williams of Shrewsbury, Deborah Rutherford of St. Albans, and Carolyn Charnock of Charleston.

"What a wonderful way to start off 2015. We could not be happier for these ladies," Musgrave said. "Calendar year 2014 was a record setting year for West Virginia Lottery players with an incredible 13 tickets valued at $1 million or more sold in our state and hopefully this is an indication that 2015 will be memorable as well."

Rader purchased their lucky ticket, which matched five numbers from the January 9, 2015 Mega Millions drawing, at One Stop #101 in South Charleston. Had they paid an extra $1 for the Megaplier option, their prize of $1 million would have increased to $5 million, because the Megaplier number for Friday was 5x. One Stop will receive a sales bonus of $10,000 for selling the ticket. Ironically, she purchased the winning ticket at exactly 1:01 p.m. on Wednesday.

"I am just glad that I played and that we won," Rader said. "When the jackpot gets high I usually play twice a week, but this was the first time that we ever purchased lottery tickets as an office pool. We were just happy to win something."

The group of co-workers each contributed $5 for a total purchase of 25 tickets.

Williams, a December graduate of WVU-Tech, made her first student loan payment on the same day she gave Rader her $5 for the tickets. "I will not be making any more loan payments or paying another day of interest now, that's for sure," Williams said.

Curry said that she had played the lottery off and on, but had never won anything of note. "You always wonder if it is for real and now I know that it is!" Rutherford added, "Anyone can win. It is just amazing!"
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