Man From Michigan’s Thumb Drowns With Winning $45K Club Keno Ticket In His Pocket

Written By Matt Schoch on September 29, 2021

While he was waiting to cash a winning $45,000 Club Keno ticket from the Michigan Lottery, a Caseville man drowned this month with the winning stub in his pocket.

As first reported by Flint television station WJRT, the body of Gregory Jarvis was found Friday along a private beach on Saginaw Bay.

Jarvis, 57, had been waiting for a new social security card to arrive in the mail so he could cash the ticket, a local resident told the TV station.

However, according to the TV station, relatives of Jarvis now have the ticket. Jake Harris, spokesperson for the Michigan Lottery, told PlayMichigan that the drowned man’s winning ticket (and all winning tickets) are considered a “bearer instrument.” which means whoever is in possession can cash the ticket. So, a little good news from a very sad story.

Earlier this month, a Michigan Lottery prize of more than $200,000 went unclaimed.

Jarvis won ‘The Jack’ progressive jackpot this month

On Sept. 13, Jarvis won “The Jack,” a progressive jackpot add-on to Club Keno, at Caseville’s Blue Water Inn.

However, the Michigan Lottery requires winners of prizes more than $600 to provide photo identification and their original social security card.

The report says Jarvis was last seen at the Blue Water Inn on Sept. 19. At that time, he was still waiting for his new card.

Last week, Jarvis’ body was found near his boat on the shore.

Caseville Police Chief Kyle Romzek told the television station that Jarvis likely slipped and fell while tying up his boat, hit his head and fell into the water. The chief said no foul play is suspected.

The discovery of the winning ticket, however, did prompt further investigation. Romzek said investigators believe it is unrelated to the incident.

How to claim a large Michigan Lottery prize

If you win a prize of more than $600 from the Michigan Lottery, here are your options.

For prizes passing that $600 threshold and up to $99,999.99, you can collect by mail.

To claim the prize, you need to complete a ticket receipt form for individual winnings or a Substitute 5747 form for club winnings.

Enclose a written or printed request for payment with your full name and address, along with the signed ticket and a copy of your social security card and a valid government-issued photo ID.

Send the documents to:

  • Michigan Lottery
  • Attn: Claim Center
  • 101 E. Hillsdale St.
  • P.O. Box 30023
  • Lansing, MI 48909

You also can schedule an appointment or dropoff at a Michigan Lottery claim center, located in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Livonia, Saginaw and Sterling Heights. Call 844-917-6325 to reach a claim center.

For prizes of $100,000 or more, you need to visit lottery headquarters at the address above in Lansing. Call the Lottery Player Relations office at 844-887-6836 to schedule an appointment. The same documents will be required for the in-person meeting.

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Matt Schoch

A Michigan native, Matt has worked at newspapers in Michigan, Missouri and the Virgin Islands. A versatile sports reporter, Matt has covered sailing on the Great Lakes, cricket in the Caribbean, high school and pro playoffs, and the Olympics in Rio. He's also the host of the Locked On Pistons Podcast and producer of a documentary on Emoni Bates. A former blackjack dealer, Matt has studied the industry from all sides.

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