Kent City, Michigan player claims $57 million Mega jackpot

LANSING, June 17, 2008 – Fred Topous never won anything in his life—until Friday.

That’s when Topous’ easy pick Mega Millions ticket netted him the $57 million jackpot.

Topous, 45, didn’t even realize that he had the winning ticket from the 11 p.m. drawing until yesterday afternoon. He’d heard the winning ticket had been sold at Party World in Comstock Park so when he stopped at the store on his way home from work, he asked the clerk to check his ticket. Topous said he’s had little sleep since he found out he was a multimillionaire.

Realizing that he probably “won’t need to get a loan,” Topous said he plans to buy a house and plan for his children to attend college. Both he and his wife had worked multiple jobs to make ends meet.

“We thought we were going to end up working until we died, but not any more,” Topous said. “I want to enjoy little bit of life. We’re plain folks. We’ve struggled all our lives. Now I don’t have to wait until Friday to get groceries or put gas in the truck.”

Lottery Commissioner M. Scott Bowen offered congratulations to Topous and his family.

“We’re always happy to make someone a millionaire and we wish Mr. Topous and his family all the best,” Bowen said.

Topous, who has vowed to continue to play Michigan Lottery games, elected to take the lump sum payment of $33,989,267.

Over 95 cents of every dollar spent on Michigan Lottery tickets is returned to the state in the form of contributions to the state School Aid Fund, prizes to players and commissions to retailers. In fiscal year 2007, the contribution to schools was $748.9 million. Since its inception in 1972, the Lottery has contributed more than $14.3 billion to education in Michigan.

For additional information, please visit the Lottery’s Web site at www.michigan.gov/lottery.