Unintentional purchase leads to a huge payout
By Kate Northrop
DEARBORN HEIGHTS, Mich. — One incredibly lucky lottery player from Michigan was not expecting his simple mistake to pay out double what he hoped for. His accidental purchase of two tickets led to him winning two Mega Millions prizes each worth $1 million.
The seemingly impossible event shocked Samir Mazahem, 56, of Dearborn Heights, who said he unintentionally bought two identical tickets with the same numbers, much like a Canadian player who recently made the same mistake and reaped the rewards.
"I went online and bought a ticket using numbers that are family birthdays," Mazahem told the Michigan Lottery. "I forgot to save the numbers as favorites in the app, so I went back in and set them up as favorites so I could easily play them in the future."
Those lucky numbers for the Mega Millions June 9 drawing were 1, 5, 9, 10, and 23.
"What I didn't realize, is that I meant I would be buying a second ticket with the same numbers," Mazahem said in a press release. "Once I figured out I had bought two tickets with identical numbers, I was a little bummed but didn't think much about it."
After the drawing, he went back on the Michigan Lottery app to check his numbers to find two separate prizes of $1 million waiting for him.
"Saying that I was stunned is an understatement," the lucky winner said. "I couldn't believe it was real. It took several days for the reality to set in that my mistake had paid off to the tune of $2 million!"
Mazahem recently claimed his two $1 million prizes at Lottery headquarters in Lansing and announced that he plans on buying a new house and will save what is leftover.
"Winning is exciting and gives me some comfort knowing that, when I retire, I will have some money in the bank," he stated.
Anyone looking to "replicate" Mazahem's mistake can purchase Mega Millions tickets for $2 each at certified lottery retailers. Drawings take place Tuesday and Friday evenings.
If you're looking for a nearby lottery retailer, try the Lottery Places website, where you can download the free app on your iOS or Android phone or Windows computer. Lottery Places is the only app on the market that will locate lottery retailers in every state and jurisdiction throughout the United States.
Michigan lottery players can bypass the store completely and buy Mega Millions lottery tickets online. (Links for other Michigan games are in the Related Links section of this story.) Players outside the USA can play online through a reputable butler service that delivers scanned images of the lottery tickets to verify the ticket purchase and ownership.