2018-10-25 / Viewpoint

The VIEW from here

Tempted by Mega Millions

Jeff Hogan—Editor Jeff Hogan—Editor Do you know anyone in South Carolina? You might want to give them a call. They may be able to lend you a million dollars or so — because that’s where the Mega Millions lottery ticket was sold Tuesday.

It has been said that money can’t buy happiness, but with the Mega Millions lottery jackpot at $1.6 billion I was willing to give it a shot. I have to think it would help. With the big prize at an all-time high, admittedly my imagination had wandered a bit.

How about you?

My wife Maria and I contributed $4 per drawing to an office lottery pool that had played the numbers during the current Mega Millions mania.

In my entire life I can count the number of times I’ve played the lottery on my fingers and toes, and that includes the $1 instant scratch-off tickets. I think the most I’ve ever won was $5. The same instinct to hold onto to my hard-earned money applies to casino gambling as well. Maria and I played the nickel and penny slots at Greektown Casino, and I even felt a little guilty then. I hate throwing money away.

But the lure of becoming filthy rich overnight playing Mega Millions allowed me to part with $20 over the last couple of weeks. I could pay off my credit card balance, get the new battery and serpentine belt the guys at the tire shop recently told me my 8-year-old car needs and I could finally get a new pair of shoes. The sock drawer is a little thin right now as well.

I started to write this column Tuesday afternoon, thinking there was an outside chance that by the time you read this Maria and I may have packed the dogs into the Jeep in the middle of the night and headed to points south to purchase property somewhere warm where we could sell tie dye T-shirts on a sandy ocean beach to tourists.

If not one of us in Lapeer County, there was a chance a lottery player’s life in Michigan may have changed forever if they won Tuesday’s jackpot. The cash option for the world-record jackpot was about $905 million. I could get by on that.

The $1.6 billion jackpot was the largest Mega Millions jackpot ever and largest ever jackpot in

U.S. and world history. The number two lottery jackpot in U.S. and world history was a $1.586 billion Powerball jackpot. Three lucky ticket holders from California, Florida and Tennessee matched the five white balls and Powerball to win that huge jackpot in January 2016.

According to the Michigan Lottery, the last Michigan player to win a Mega Millions jackpot was Kevin Blake of Waterford. He won half of the game’s $42 million jackpot in October 2017.

If a Michigan player had won Tuesday’s jackpot, it would have been the largest Mega Millions prize ever won in the state and the largest ever Michigan Lottery prize. In April 2005, a Port Huron couple won $208 million playing Mega Millions. And if you recall in August 2012, Donald Lawson, of Mayfield Township, won a $337 million Powerball jackpot — purchased from the Sunoco gas station at North Main and Knollwood Drive in Lapeer. Lawson’s jackpot holds the record for the largest Lottery prize ever won in Michigan.

It has been fun to dream, but now it’s back to reality and back to work where money is made the old-fashioned way — with a job.

Until next time, be well and I’ll see you around.

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