A Michigan Man Looking For Change Ended Up With A $2 Million Lotto Ticket

Written By Derek Helling on July 21, 2020 - Last Updated on July 15, 2020

An old saying is that life is what happens while you’re making other plans. Two seemingly trivial decisions recently made by one Michigan man, one involving the wrong lottery ticket, ended up being anything but trivial.

The Macomb County man won $2 million from an MI Lottery scratch-off. The story of the transaction is quite novel and goes to show that if you don’t play, you can’t win.

An underinflated tire and the wrong lottery ticket

According to the lottery, the prize winner stopped off at a BP in Eastpointe. The stated reason for his visit to the gas station was to put air in a tire of the truck he was driving. In order to do so, he needed some change.

The man bought what he thought was a $10 Lucky 7’s ticket to get that change. To his surprise, however, the gas station clerk handed him the $20 card instead. That’s when the pivotal moment came.

The attendant offered to correct his mistake, but the prize winner’s intuition told him to play the card instead. The rest, as they say, is history.

After scratching the card, the 57-year-old unidentified man discovered he hit the jackpot. After taxes, it came to a lump sum of over $1.3 million.

The lottery says the man plans to buy a new home and then invest the remainder of the prize. While it’s uncertain where that new home will be, what’s certain is that the winner’s budget for a new house just increased dramatically.

The Michigan Lottery boasts paying out over $54 million to Lucky 7’s players so far, so this man isn’t alone. He was singularly fortunate in hitting the jackpot, however.

Two $2 million Lucky 7’s prizes remain

Since the lottery started selling the $20 Lucky 7’s tickets in December, this man is the first to claim any of the three $2 million prizes. Overall odds for the game are 1 in 3.48.

The lottery says 763,069 total prizes for the game remain unclaimed. The lowest threshold is a $20 prize, so in theory, you could break even. At those odds, however, you’d likely have to buy multiple tickets, so the lottery will still likely come out ahead.

The thrill of the chase of the remaining two jackpots may inspire more people to get change at lottery retailers. You may not be lucky enough to have an attendant hand you the winning card by accident. Regardless of how it happens, winning a $2 million prize is a story on its own.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a freelance journalist who resides in Chicago, IL. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law. Recently, he has written about the expanded gambling industry in Michigan, including online sports betting, online casinos, and the cornerstone land-based casino market.

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