Winners of $1.3 billion lottery come forward months later

Associated Press and Ash Cant
·2-min read

Four people who won one of the biggest lottery prizes in US history have finally come forward to claim their prize after almost two months.

The Detroit lottery club won $A1.3 billion in the Mega Millions jackpot back in January.

However, the Wolverine FLL Club decided to receive a lump sum payment instead of annual payments, reducing their total prize to $A717.4 million after taxes.

Attorney Kurt Panouses poses with a check on behalf of the winners of a Mega Millions lottery jackpot. Source: Michigan Lottery via AP
Four people who won one of the biggest lottery prizes in US history have finally come forward to claim their prize after almost two months. Source: Michigan Lottery via AP

“This kind of money will impact the families of our club members for generations to come," attorney Kurt Panouses said on behalf of the winners.

"We plan to stay humble and pay it forward through charitable giving in southeast Michigan."

The jackpot is the third largest in US history, and the largest in Michigan Lottery history.

Rumours swirl about Lotto winners

As the prize was unclaimed for quite some time, there was much speculation as to who had won the jackpot.

There were rumours a group of teachers in Novi had won the lot, forcing David Ascher, principal at Novi Woods Elementary School, to shoot down the rumours.

“Everyone showed up for work today, which was really good,” Escher said two days after the drawing.

The winning ticket was purchased at a Kroger grocery store in Novi, Detroit.

Stock image of woman holding Lotto ticket. Source: AP
The Detroit lottery club won $A1.3 billion in the Mega Millions jackpot back in January. Source: AP

Winning Lotto ticket was bought as 'afterthought'

Purchasing a lottery ticket was an afterthought for one of the winning club members.

“A club member saw a sign that the jackpot was up to $1 billion and remembered that they hadn’t bought their tickets yet so they pulled into the Kroger,” Panouses said.

“When you play, of course, you dream of winning, but the reality of it has been incredible.”

Kroger received a $A64,400 bonus commission for selling the winning ticket, Michigan Lottery said.

The supermarket announced it would donate the money to the Food Bank Council of Michigan.

Previously, the largest lottery prize won playing Michigan Lottery was back in 2012, when one player won a A$434 million Powerball jackpot.

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