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Mystery lottery winner claims $3.8 million jackpot

Michigan LotteryMichigan Lottery: Mystery lottery winner claims $3.8 million jackpot

Michigan law allows lottery winners to remain anonymous, and the man who cashed in a winning WinFall ticket this week took full advantage of it.

The man turned in the winning ticket from the April 10, 2004 drawing, which offered a $3.8 million jackpot. He opted to take a lump-sum payment good for $1.4 million after taxes.

The man would not let lottery officials identify him publicly or provide his age, hometown or place of employment, said Andi Brancato, a lottery commission spokeswoman.

"He was a man of few words," lottery Commissioner Gary Peters told The Detroit News for a Friday story.

The winning ticket was bought at Tania's Pizza and Party Store in Royal Oak. If it hadn't been redeemed by 4:45 p.m. April 11, the $3.8 million would have gone into the state school aid fund. And store owner Ihsan Sheena would have lost out on a $2,000 bonus from the state for selling the winning ticket.

"I was afraid someone had lost it," Sheena said.

More than $31 million in Michigan Lottery prizes went unclaimed last year and $438 million since the lottery's inception in 1972, officials said.

Peters said he feels publicity about the unredeemed ticket [published in a Lottery Post news story on Monday] may have played a role in the ticket holder finding the lucky ticket.

If the ticket hadn't been redeemed by 4:45 p.m. April 11, the $3.8 million would have gone into the state school aid fund.

"It's interesting it went unclaimed that long and then was turned in after" the media exposure, Peters said.

The man would not discuss with lottery officials if he found the ticket after being alerted by the Lottery Post article and subsequent television coverage.

All three Detroit television stations aired segments about the missing tickets after the article appeared.

"He was a man of few words," Peters said.

Store owner Ihsan Sheena is happy the ticket was found and redeemed. He will collect a $2,000 bonus from the state for selling the winning ticket. Had the ticket not been turned in, Sheena would have lost the bonus.

"I was afraid someone had lost it," Sheena said. "I have no idea who had the ticket."

Lottery officials are urging players to check old tickets because there is still $3.1 million in winning Mega Millions, Fantasy 5, and WinFall tickets that have not been cashed in.

The next big ticket that will expire is a $175,000 Mega Millions winner sold for the July 2 drawing at Mr. C's Deli & Pizza in Clinton Township. The winning numbers were 10, 25, 38, 39, 50.

A $1.5 million winning Winfall ticket sold Jan. 8 at the Meijer's store on Little Mack in Roseville is still outstanding.

More than $31 million in winning tickets were unclaimed last year and $438 million since the lottery was started in 1972.

Peters said an interesting trend has occurred with winning secondary prizes of $10 or less. Last year, $3.1 million in small-denomination winning tickets were not cashed in, Peter said.

"People are playing for the big jackpots, but overlooking the smaller prizes," Peters said.

Lottery Post Staff

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6 comments. Last comment 12 years ago by LOTTOMIKE.
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Coastal Georgia
United States
Member #2653
October 30, 2003
1866 Posts
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Posted: February 4, 2005, 10:14 am - IP Logged

It could be me, but I don't understand.....

Every day I check my tickets on line and if there are any winnings on them, they go to be redeemed on the next visit to purchase more tickets. And if I am blessed enough to have a large win, I sure wouldn't misplace the ticket.

Am I crazy or does anyone else share this logic ?

 

                               

              

 

 

    fja's avatar - gnome1

    United States
    Member #91
    January 19, 2002
    11927 Posts
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    Posted: February 4, 2005, 11:21 am - IP Logged

    Probably just got done with a nasty divorce and wanted to put as much time and distance between that and him claiming the prize.....the guy wouldn't even say why he waited so long to claim it....It looks like he didn't even have a lawyer with him....and he wouldn't even let announce what color clothes he was wearing...he probably spent a year studying the rules and regulations.....as well as the law....

    "Everybody has to believe in something...I believe I'll have another beer!"   = W.C.Fields                      

      Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
      Chief Bottle Washer
      New Jersey
      United States
      Member #1
      May 31, 2000
      23261 Posts
      Online
      Posted: February 4, 2005, 12:42 pm - IP Logged

      I don't know why this is confusing.

      The guy did not check his ticket after the drawing, and probably put it in a drawer.  When the story was published, and he saw that there was a big unclaimed jackpot, it prompted him to look to see if he had any unchecked tickets, and when he checked his ticket it was a winner.  Then, he claimed the prize anonymously.

      What's the mystery?

       

      Check the State Lottery Report Card
      What grade did your lottery earn?

       

      Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
      Help eliminate computerized drawings!

        Avatar
        Coastal Georgia
        United States
        Member #2653
        October 30, 2003
        1866 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: February 4, 2005, 2:22 pm - IP Logged

        No mystery at all....

        Probably the reason we are all on this board is because we play regularly and keep up with our tickets and our numbers.

        There are lots of people that don't. 

         

                                       

                      

         

         

          Avatar

          United States
          Member #6676
          September 3, 2004
          95 Posts
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          Posted: February 4, 2005, 4:08 pm - IP Logged
          Quote: Originally posted by DoubleDown on February 4, 2005



          No mystery at all....

          Probably the reason we are all on this board is because we play regularly and keep up with our tickets and our numbers.

          There are lots of people that don't. 




          --winner2b

            LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
            Tennessee
            United States
            Member #7853
            October 15, 2004
            11338 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: February 28, 2005, 12:08 am - IP Logged

            thats what i don't get,why buy tickets and then not check em?