29th October 2010 was the day that changed Steve Mays’ life and was the start of his Mega Millions winners’ story. His story brought warmth for those huddled against the cold that month but for him it meant an annuity of over $5 million dollars for the next 26 years because he had the winning Mega Millions numbers.
Amidst a cold winter storm, Mays was probably one of the few people not worrying about the weather in Michigan that day – him and a small group of very happy Michigan consortium who had also netted a lottery prize, but instead the Powerball jackpot.
It was a unique event for the Michigan state registering the Powerball jackpot in the same week. Mays won his Mega Millions prize of $141 million which he chose to take in yearly instalments, while a lottery club netted Michigan’s first ever Powerball prize of $128 million.
Mays, who came from Gladstone in Upper Peninsula, had been retired for 10 years and had been struggling financially for the last couple of those. He was the second largest Mega Millions lotto winner for Michigan since it began way back in 2002. The jackpot had rolled over on the previous 11 draws to reach $141 million on 29th October.
Mays was married with four children and was said to be determined to make the most of the money when he received his cheque in Lansing, Michigan. Beyond that, he wasn’t saying much.
The ticket with the winning Mega Millions numbers was bought at a Michigan convenience store who received a $50,000 bonus for its troubles.
For those who believe that the Mega Millions lotto is just a method of making strangers rich, over 90 cents in the dollar from sales revenues in the lottery go to fund schools in the state. Since it began way back in 1972 the Michigan state lottery has contributed over $15 billion for much needed education in Michigan.
As mentioned earlier, a Michigan lottery consortium also pulled in the Powerball jackpot at the same time as Mays Mega Millions triumph. Collecting the cheque for $128.6 million, Mike Greer confirmed that the ticket had been purchased at an “adult novelty store” near Detroit.
The consortium, nicknamed “Team Victory Club”, opted for the lump sum of around $70 million after tax and planned to give some of the money to local churches, before deciding what to spend it on. Greer didn’t say how many people were going to share the prize in Team Victory Club but that they were in shock and that it was going to be a life changing amount of money.
The dual win to both Greer and Mays was the largest single day pay-out in Michigan State Lottery history since it began back in ’72.
Steve Mays was Michigan’s second highest Mega Millions winner behind Ralph and Mary Stebbins of Port Huron who netted $208 million back in 2005.
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