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Michigan Man Finds Forgotten Lottery Ticket Worth Nearly Half a Million Dollars



Can you imagine buying a lottery ticket, forgetting about it, and later finding out it is a winner worth more than $430,000?  This pipe dream of a scenario is now the reality of a hardworking Michigan man.  The unnamed Ingham County resident contacted Michigan Lottery officials earlier this week to turn in his winning ticket. 

A Lottery Story for the Ages

The anonymous lottery winner claims he checked his Fantasy 5 ticket after the latest state lottery drawing and thought it was a loser.  A couple days later the man re-checked his ticket, which turned out to be worth nearly half a million dollars.  The man claims he forgot about the ticket because he purchased it on the web as opposed to a local store.  The unnamed individual states he plays Fantasy 5 with regularity, buying tickets on the web and also in-person at local stores.

The mystery winner made the following statement to local media outlets: “I usually buy a few Fantasy 5 tickets at the store and a few online.  I checked my in-store tickets Sunday night and thought I didn’t win anything this drawing, forgetting about my online tickets.”

He waited until the day after checking the ticket that he assumed was a loser to review the tickets again.  He comments, “I was scrolling through my emails Monday morning while I was eating breakfast and saw a prize notification email from the Michigan Lottery.  After reading the email, I knew it had to be a big prize. I logged in to my lottery account to verify the prize and was stunned when I saw the amount pending. I woke my wife up right away to tell her what we’d won.”

The Winning Numbers

In what will go down as one of the craziest lottery wins of all time, the anonymous man matched all five Fantasy 5 numbers.  The numbers from the January 23 drawing were: 05-10-18-20-23.  The winning numbers resulted in a grand prize of $430,194.  The man said about his big win, “Winning is such a blessing! Whenever I log in to my account and see the amount pending, it doesn’t seem real. I don’t think it will hit me until I see the money in my bank account.”

The lottery prize will help him complete home renovations.  He also indicated he will share the winnings with his loved ones, and to his local community since some of the proceeds will be redirected to Michigan charities.  Perhaps the most interesting aspect of his big win is the fact that the 56-year-old has no plans to retire.  He will continue working because his winnings after taxes won’t provide enough money to enjoy the golden years.  

Michigan is also the home of another big lottery winner.  The last Michigan resident to win a Powerball or Mega Millions jackpot was the Wolverine FFL lottery club.  They won a $1.05 billion lottery jackpot less than one year ago, and gave some of the money back to Michigan non-profits in an effort to advance the common good.

Fantasy 5 Details

Though Fantasy 5 winners do not make enough money to retire, matching all the numbers certainly sets the stage for a comfortable life.  Fantasy 5 costs $1 to play.  Players can add EZmatch for an additional dollar per play, providing a second chance to win up to $500.  Adding another dollar triggers DoublePlay which provides players with another chance to win more than $100,000 in the nightly drawing.  Fantasy 5 drawings are held every day of the week just prior to 7:30 p.m.

The Takeaway From This Unlikely Story

The moral of the Michigan lottery story is to always check your lottery ticket.  Even if you scan the winning numbers and don’t find them on your ticket, there is the potential that your eyes have deceived you.  It is in every lottery player’s interest to check their tickets two times.  When in doubt, bring the ticket to a local store so it can be scanned by the automated system that identifies winning and losing tickets.  

A winning lottery ticket worth a cool $1 million was sold in Hartland in 2019.  To this day, the winnings from that ticket have not been claimed.  The winning ticket was bought at a Hartland Speedway yet the buyer of that ticket has not stepped forward to collect the seven-figure payout, and the window of opportunity to claim the winnings has closed.  The million dollars was subsequently forwarded to the Michigan School Aid Fund.

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