Scratch-off lottery tickets are a popular gift in many families. Not only do you get the possibility of scoring a big cash prize, most people find it fun to scratch off the tickets to see which prize they might have won. Although the odds are against you in any lottery, it’s still a welcome tradition.
For one Jackson, Michigan man this Christmas, the tradition paid off big-time. His children got him the Christmas gift on a $5 scratch-off lottery ticket for Michigan Lottery’s Holiday Ice instant win game. They bought them at a Vandercook Lake Shell Station. According to the Michigan Lottery press release, the ticket more than paid for itself, to the tune of $300,000.
Unfortunately for us, the man chose to remain anonymous, as did his children. But he picked up his winnings Monday morning, Dec. 28, at the lottery office in Lansing. One thing’s for sure–his children’s spring break will be extra nice this year, since the man announced that he plans to use part of his winnings to send them on an extravagant vacation. He must figure he owes them for the winning ticket–although $5 was a small price to pay for the big payday.
So far, Michigan lottery players have reaped about $8.7 million playing Holiday Ice, which launched in October. They are sold at 11,000 retails throughout the state. Each ticket, which costs $5, offers players a chance to win prizes ranging from $5 up to $300,000. More than $5.5 million in prizes remain. These include the $300,000 top prize, and five $1,000 prizes. So even though this dad cleaned up big, there are plenty of other opportunities for Michigan lottery players to strike gold over the holidays.
This wasn’t the only holiday lottery win this year. On Wednesday, a Staten Island, New York man was presented with the $7 million jackpot prize, just in time for Christmas gift-giving.
Rigoberto Mejia Mendoza, 31, said he bought two lottery tickets on Nov. 30 during his lunch break. The tickets cost $25 each.
“I always buy the tickets with the biggest prizes,” Mendoza said in a statement at the news conference.
Mendoza chose to receive the money in a lump sum, which equals to about $4 million after taxes.
He couldn’t believe it when he went home and showed his ticket to his wife, Josephina. They “kept looking at the ticket for a couple of hours and asking themselves, ‘Can this be real?’”
At the press conference, Mendoza hadn’t even told his children yet–he was saving it for a Christmas morning surprise unlike any they have ever received before. He plans to use the winnings to buy a new home for his family, with all the amenities they have been dreaming about.
“I scratched off all the numbers and saw a match on the number 16, so I scratched off the prize and saw it was a $7,000,000 win. I remember thinking to myself, ‘I got it!’” Mendoza said.