Mega Millions lottery jackpot winner Dick Zelasko of Troy won $80 million in the July 5th 2013 draw with the winning Mega Millions numbers of 2, 23, 41, 47, 54 and Mega Ball 20. However, it was two months before Zelasko claimed his ticket.
A lot of people who buy lottery tickets don’t check their tickets until weeks, or maybe months after they have bought them. Some players, knowing they have won, wait until they have consulted with lawyers and financial advisers before coming forward to claim their millions.
Mega Millions lotto jackpot winner Dick Zelasko had a winning ticket in his wallet for over a month before he realised he was a multi-millionaire. He enjoyed a few golfing weekends and went on holiday all with the winning Mega Millions lottery ticket in his wallet. “That would have been a terrible time to lose your wallet,” Dick said.
Lottery officials recommend that you sign your lottery tickets and put your contact details on them. If they are stolen or lost, you are far more likely to get them back, especially if you offer a reward. Dick says he has never put his details on a lottery ticket.
Mr Zelasko likes to play roulette at the local casino and says he has been playing the Lottery for years. He likes to play the Michigan Mega Millions and Powerball but until now has only won small amounts of $10 and $20. The Mega Millions lotto draw of 5th July 2013 was going to have a jackpot of $79 million but because of the large support, it rose to $80 million. Dick finally went to claim his prize at Lottery headquarters in Lansing, on 6th September 2013.
Dick Zelasko said he bought a Michigan Quick Pick Mega Millions lottery ticket from his usual store, John’s Market, 75 E Square Lake Road, Troy, and put the ticket straight in his wallet. John’s Market has been a Lottery retailer since 1986 and is now $50,000 richer thanks to receiving a bonus commission for selling the ticket with the winning Mega Millions numbers.
Mr Zelasko checked his ticket on the lottery self-service scanner and got a message telling him to contact the Lottery. It still didn’t click that he was a big winner.
The Mega Millions winner read an article in his local paper saying that someone claimed to be the 5th July winner and had bought their ticket at John’s Market. He mentioned friends and family while also saying that John’s Market was where he always bought his tickets. Dick continued to scan his ticket and kept on getting the same message to contact the lottery. On 13th August 2013, he checked his numbers online and finally accepted that he was the winner of the Mega Millions lottery Jackpot, although he was quoted as saying, “I thought someone was playing a joke on me. We paced and paced all night.”
Mr Zelasko finally collected his Mega Millions lotto winnings on 6th September 2013. He said that in spite of his big win, he will definitely continue to play the lottery. “You go with the streak, not against it,” he said.
“For the most part, it is entertainment,” Zelasko said, “but sometimes you just get that gut feeling. I’d see the billboard and put myself in the mindset of ‘what would you do?’”
Zelasko plans to buy a new car and house and says his winning Mega Millions lottery ticket will allow him “to just take care of family and enjoy the peace of mind the prize brings. That really is the biggest reward.” Zelasko was Michigan’s second Mega Millions lotto jackpot winner that year, the first being Judy Juntunen.