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SE Michigan man wins $500,000 prize from Michigan Lottery ticket

Joe Mendoza wins $500,000 from Lucky 7's Tripler instant game

LANSING, Mich. – A Sanilac County man had to look at his ticket three times before believing he’d won $500,000 playing the Michigan Lottery’s Lucky 7’s Tripler instant game.

Joe Mendoza, 68, bought his winning ticket at the Speedway gas station, located at 1 North Howard Avenue in Croswell. Croswell is about 30 miles north of Port Huron.

"I scratched the ticket, and when I saw a five with all those zeros, I couldn’t believe my eyes," Mendoza said. "I looked the ticket over three times and then went to have my wife look at it.

"When I showed my wife, she didn’t believe it and told me to go to Speedway to check the ticket. When I got home, I had my daughter-in-law call the Lottery for me, because I was so nervous. When they set up the appointment for us to claim the prize, my wife finally believed it was real."

Mendoza visited Lottery headquarters on Wednesday with his family to claim his prize.

"I haven’t really thought much about how I want to spend the money," Mendoza said. "I know I’m going to buy a big TV, and I’ll probably save the rest for a little while.

"It still hasn’t fully sunk in that I won. I can’t even explain it. It just feels good."