And after minting two new millionaires since legalizing the iLotto industry in 2014, Michigan just tripled up with its largest online winner to date.
David Smith, a 59-year old living in Farmington Hills, hopped on MichiganLottery.com recently to enter the June 11th drawing of Mega Millions. He paid $2 for the winning ticket, plus an extra $1 on top for the “Megaplier” option.
And when that Tuesday drawing was held, Smith couldn’t quite believe his eyes when the screen read 20, 34, 39, 43, and 57 for the game’s five white balls. Looking forward to his upcoming retirement, and enjoying the lotto as a hobby, Smith matched all five of the white balls perfectly to beat 1 in 12,607,306 odds against.
The 5-for-5 white ball combination was good for $1 million by itself, and when the Megaplier ball came was revealed to be 3, Smith’s prize was immediately tripled for a $3 million score.
In a press release announcing the news, Michigan Lottery officials confirmed that Smith’s $3 million windfall was “the largest ever won with a ticket bought at MichiganLottery.com.”
Per the Michigan Lottery, the Diamond Payout instant winner virtual scratch card game produced a $1 million jackpot for Grand Junction resident Pam Rawson in 2015. One year later, Tammy Weadock of Onsted pocketed $1 million after buying a PowerBall ticket over the internet.
Disbelief Turns to Pure Joy When Winner Shares News
After Smith realized that he held a seven-figure golden ticket in his hands, he did what any good husband would do – call his wife to share the great news.
But as David later told the Michigan Lottery during the prize claiming ceremony, his hubby Kris was initially incredulous:
“I was checking my tickets online Wednesday morning, and out of the corner of my eye I saw the $3 million winner.
I called my wife right away and it took me 10 minutes to convince her we’d won $3 million.
She was still skeptical, so she had me send her a screenshot and then Googled the numbers herself.
We were both stunned. We’re still in shock.”
One year away from turning 60, David Smith’s shock turned into relief that the couple’s impending retirement was now paid for in full:
“Winning takes so much pressure off with our retirement coming up in a few years.
We couldn’t be more thankful and humble.”
In addition to his newly enhanced retirement plans, Smith said he hopes to take the entire family on a vacation, before crossing a few home improvements off his “honey do” list
Mega Millions Sets the Standard for iLotto in Michigan and Beyond
Smith managed to beat 1 in more than 12 million odds to clinch the $3 million but had the extra yellow ball also been a match, that 1 in 302 million thunderbolt would’ve been worth approximately $50 million.
He could’ve also notched a larger payday had the Megaplier number came in at 4x or 5x. The 3x Megaplier ball is the most prevalent with a 1 in 2.5 chance of occurring, while the 4x boost hits at a 1 in 5 rate, and 5x Megapliers are a 1 in 15 shot.
Lotto players can enjoy Mega Millions in 44 states, plus D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The only American jurisdictions where the game isn’t found are gambling industry hardliners Utah, Alabama, Alaska, and Hawaii, while residents of Mississippi and Nevada also lack access.
Online lottery wins like Smith’s came under threat by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) back in January after the agency attempted to widen the scope of a federal law known as the Wire Act of 1961. That law was intended to prohibit bettors and bookies from conducting business across state lines, through either the telephone or wire services, but the DOJ sought to expand Wire Act enforcement to ban all forms of online gambling over state lines.
Thankfully for Smith and his fellow iLotto fans, however, the New Hampshire Lottery Commission (NHLC) stepped in by suing the DOJ in federal court. Earlier this month, a federal district court judge ruled in favor of the NHLC be declaring that the Wire Act is only applicable to interstate sports betting.