LIVONIA, MI — He scratched his ticket in the bathroom to keep his girlfriend from knowing what he'd done.
Her request that he restrain himself from another lottery ticket purchase went ignored.
But when the scratching was finished, the guilty act of secrecy turned to a brilliant stroke of luck.
The Livonia man, whose identity hasn't been revealed because he requested anonymity, scratched until he found a match for one of his winning numbers: 27.
Printed underneath the match: "1Mil."
"I scratched the ticket in the bathroom and thought I was having a heart attack when I saw it was a $1 million winner," the man told state lottery officials.
It was a faulty printer on a gas pump that led to the small act of defiance and the huge jackpot.
The day before his moment of lavatory glory, the winner filled his car with fuel at a BP gas station on 5 Mile Road in Livonia and went inside to get his receipt when one failed to print at the pump.
On his way in, he grabbed from the car two previous winning lottery tickets worth $5 each.
"On my way in, my girlfriend told me not to buy any lottery tickets, but I didn't listen," the man said. "I bought one 50X The Cash ticket and paid for it with my two $5 winners."
It was the next morning when he pulled the ticket from its hiding spot and took to the bathroom for a small, suspense-filled thrill that became a life-changing event.
"I play the Lottery pretty regularly and win a little here and there, but never thought I'd win $1 million," he told lottery officials when he went to Lansing to redeem the prize Wednesday.
"... I showed the ticket to my parents and neither of them believed me. We immediately went to the computer to look the game up online and read the instructions again. That's when it finally started to sink in that I had won big."
The man chose a one-time, lump-sum payment of $634,517 over a 30-year annuity, lottery officials said.
He plans to take a European vacation and invest the rest of the money.
"We've always wanted to go to Scotland, and this will give us the opportunity to do that," the winner said.
"Maybe next time my girlfriend won't be as skeptical when I'm feeling lucky and want to buy a Lottery ticket."
About $48.8 million in prizes remain for the 50X The Cash lottery brand, including two more $1 million prizes, eight winning tickets worth $250,000, 242 $10,000 wins and 2,412 $1,000 prizes, according to the Michigan Lottery.
The Michigan Lottery contributed $742.8 million to the state's public school systems in fiscal year 2014.
(Click to display full-size in gallery)