Michigan Man Found Dead on Beach Had Winning $45K Lottery Ticket in Wallet

Posted on: September 30, 2021, 06:22h. 

Last updated on: September 30, 2021, 09:14h.

A Michigan man was found dead on a private beach last Friday with a winning $45,000 lottery ticket in his wallet. He was the victim of a tragic accident, authorities said Wednesday.

Greg Jarvis
Gregory Jarvis displays his winning ticket at the Blue Water Inn in Caseville, Mich. just days before his tragic death. (Image: New York Post)

Gregory Jarvis, 57, drowned after hitting his head, according to the coroner’s report. Police believe the accident happened while he was tying up his boat.

His body later washed up on the private beach in Saginaw Bay in Lake Huron, where it was found by a homeowner at 9:30 am Friday morning. Authorities believe the body had been in the water for approximately four or five days.

Jarvis won the money in the Michigan Lottery’s Club Keno “The Jack” draw on September 13. Tickets are available throughout the state at a number of “social environment locations,” like restaurants, bars, and fraternal organizations, according to the Lottery’s website.

‘Nice Guy’ Buying Drinks

ABC News reported Jarvis bought the ticket at the Blue Water Inn in Caseville, where he was a regular. But he didn’t cash the ticket because his Social Security card was damaged and indecipherable, so he applied for a new one, which he was waiting to arrive.

Winners of prizes of more than $600 must provide photo identification and their Social Security card to collect their winnings, according to the Michigan Lottery’s rules.

Blue Water Inn owner Dawn Talaski told ABC Jarvis was a “very nice guy, he was here every day.”

She said he returned to the bar on Sunday, September 19 and was buying everyone drinks. That night is the last time anyone is believed to have seen him alive.

Talaski said she felt something was wrong when he didn’t come into the bar the next day.

“Sometimes he’s up north working, he wasn’t here all week, and we thought, something is wrong,” she said. Then, two days before the body was found, Jarvis’ boss came into the bar looking for him because he hadn’t turned up for work, she added.

Foul Play Ruled Out

Caseville Police Chief Kyle Romzek told ABC that when the winning ticket was discovered, it prompted him to take a second look at the case. But he has ruled out foul play.

“We were concerned about it. But after the autopsy, and we interviewed people at the bar, he was well-liked around here, he was nice guy, that took it off the table,” says Romzek.

According to Talaski, Jarvis said he would use some of the money to visit his sister and father in North Carolina.

The winning ticket has now been passed on to his family. It’s likely the winnings will be viewed as a part of his estate and may be subject to probate.