Oakland County lottery club claims $1B Mega Millions jackpot

Winning Mega Millions ticket drawn on Jan. 22, sold at Novi Kroger store

The wait is over: The winners of the largest lottery prize in Michigan history have claimed their billion-dollar jackpot.

NOVI, Mich. – The wait is over: The winners of the largest lottery prize in Michigan history have claimed their billion-dollar jackpot.

A four-member Oakland County lottery club, named Wolverine FLL Club, held the winning lottery ticket drawn on Jan. 22 for the $1.05 billion Mega Millions jackpot -- the largest prize in Michigan Lottery history, Michigan Lottery reports.

The group’s winning ticket -- with numbers 04, 26, 42, 50, 60 and the Mega Ball 24 -- was purchased at a Kroger in Novi.

Related: Kroger to donate $50,000 from Michigan lottery ticket commission to food bank

“A club member saw a sign that the jackpot was up to $1 billion and remembered that they hadn’t bought their tickets yet, so they pulled into the Kroger,” the club’s representative and attorney, Kurt D. Panouses, told Michigan Lottery. “When you play of course you dream of winning, but the reality of it has been incredible.

“This kind of money will impact the families of our club members for generations to come,” Panouses added. “We plan to stay humble and pay it forward through charitable giving in southeast Michigan.”

Officials say the Oakland County winners chose to receive their jackpot as a one-time lump sum payment, which comes out to about $776 million, rather than annuity payments for the full amount. After the prize was taxed -- 24 percent federal tax and 4.25 percent state tax -- the winners received a total of about $557 million.

The Kroger store in Novi that sold the winning ticket received a $50,000 bonus commission, which they have promised to donate to the Food Bank Council of Michigan.

“Kroger is committed to our mission of feeding our communities,” said Rachel Hurst, corporate affairs manager, The Kroger Co. of Michigan in Feb. “Strong partnerships with both the State of Michigan and the Food Bank Council of Michigan are integral in driving our mission forward.”

Following news of the Mega Millions win in Michigan, rumors began circulating that a group of teachers within the Novi Community School District had won the prize. Days after the drawing, Novi Woods Elementary School Principal David Ascher wrote a blog post to address the rumors, effectively invalidating them.

Read: Novi principal writes blog to address rumors about teachers winning $1 billion Mega Millions lottery

Michigan Lottery officials say the $1.05 billion Mega Millions jackpot is the third-largest prize ever won in the U.S. According to officials, the national and world record for a lottery jackpot is $1.58 billion.

The largest lottery prize ever won by a Michigan player was a $337 million Powerball jackpot won back in 2012, officials said.

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About the Authors:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.