Michigan Men Claim Enormous Lottery Prizes

By: Liam Martin Email
By: Liam Martin Email

LANSING -- It is a sight unlike any other -- historic, in fact.

"This is the first time in lottery history that a single-state lottery has had a Powerball and Mega Millions jackpot so close together," said
Andi Brancato, director of public relations for the Michigan Lottery.

It's also the first time two Michigan Lottery winners have claimed their prizes at the same time.

And those prizes are historic in volume.

"We are giving away over $269 million," Brancato said.

Mike Greer, 49, from Farmington Hills, claimed the $128.6 million Powerball prize on behalf of a group of friends -- what he calls "Team Victory."

"Like i told my family, everything has changed, but nothing has changed," Greer said.

He said some of the money will go to their churches, though he danced around questions about who bought the winning ticket -- which was purchased at an adult bookstores in Highland Park.

"Nobody cares," he quipped.

The winner of the Mega Millions prize bought his ticket at a Grain 'n Grape store in the Upper Peninsula. His take? $141 million.

"The numbers just kept on falling into place, and it was a 'Phew!'" said Steve Mays.

He has bought a ticket every day he can remember, and now in retirement, said his first big win came at just the right time.

"The first 10 years, I was very comfortable for eight. The last two, we started heading downward, and we started worrying about, 'What's going to happen?' Well, it happened," Mays said.

He plans on buying a new boat, and saving most of the rest for his six grandchildren.

As for logistics, lottery ticket winners can take a lesser one-time payment -- or receive installments of a much larger amount over 20 or 30 years.

Greer says his group plans to take the lump-sum payment of about $70 million, minus state and federal taxes.

Mays will do just the opposite -- take the annuity plan -- which over 26 years, will pay out a total of $141 million (again, less taxes).

As for taxes, both have to pay 25 percent in federal and about 4.5 percent to the state.

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