Michigan family accepts $80 million check

The couple's seven kids and 21 grandchildren squeezed into a photo with the winning lottery check, everyone beaming from ear to ear. (Source MI Lottery)
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Lansing, MI (WILX) Dawn and Phillip Chippewa are blessed in more ways than one. They have an abundance of family and love, and now they have $80 million.

Dawn and Phillip didn't expect to win the Powerball Jackpot lottery, in fact they didn't even remember to check their tickets until a family member texted Dawn to ask what their numbers were.

"I was at work and my sister sent me a text saying that someone who played at Barrels and Barrels won the Powerball jackpot," Chippewa's wife, Dawn said. "My first thought was: 'He better have bought some tickets!'

The family are members of the Ottawa and Chippewa Tribe, and live on the reservation in Suttons Bay.

At home, Phillip casually grabbed the tickets out of the car and gave it to their son to check online.

They thought he was teasing them when he said they hit the jackpot.

"By the time he was done, we both had tears in our eyes," Phillip said.

Phillip always buys his lottery tickets from Barrels & Barrels Party Store, in their hometown of Sutton's Bay.

The lucky couple won on Saturday, September 21, 2019.

The couple's seven kids and 21 grandchildren squeezed into a photo with the winning lottery check, everyone beaming from ear to ear.

"We have a lot of family, we can take care of them now and do a lot of good," Dawn said. "I told the kids, well I guess we can have Christmas this year."

"It makes life a little easier and less stressful," Phillip said.

Phillip and Dawn are EMTs for the Ottawa and Chippewa tribe in Suttons Bay.

Phillip has worked for the the tribe for 30 years, Dawn has worked there for almost 25.

"Every day when I come to work my boss asks me: 'Why are you here?' I just tell him that I was hired to do a job and I'm not going to abandon anyone just because I won. We'll both retire in time, but we believe in being good to the community that has been so good to us."

Despite winning $80 million dollars, they said they intend to work a little longer.

Dawn said she wants to reach her goal of working for the tribe for 25 years.

"We both work a lot, all of our lives, it's hard to believe we will have the chance to do something different, something more and be with the grand kids more," Dawn said.

They said they intend to buy themselves and each of their kids a new house, and Phillip said he's already looking at Harley Motorcycles.

"With seven children and 21 grandchildren, I've always said that I might not have the most money, but I am rich with family," Phillip said. "Now, I have all the money I'll ever need and can help my family for generations. That means everything to me."

The lucky player's winning ticket matched all of the winning numbers - 01-09-22-36-68 - and the Powerball 22.

This win marks the fourth time a Michigan player has won the Powerball jackpot since the state began offering the game in 2010.

The last Michigan player to win the Powerball jackpot was Julie Leach, of Three Rivers. In 2015, Leach won the game's $310.5 million jackpot.

In 2012, Donald Lawson, of Lapeer, won $337 million playing the Powerball game.

Lawson's jackpot win holds the record for the largest Lottery prize ever paid in Michigan.

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