Michigan Woman Finds Email on $3M Lottery Prize in Spam; Mega Millions Nears $400M

Posted on: January 25, 2022, 02:05h. 

Last updated on: January 25, 2022, 03:17h.

Not everything that gets sent to your spam folder is junk. A Detroit area woman learned she became a millionaire when she checked her spam folder recently for an email from someone. It wasn’t a Nigerian prince who made her wealthy. Instead, it was Mega Millions.

Michigan Lottery
Laura Spears holds a ceremonial check she received from the Michigan Lottery last week. Spears won $3 million playing Mega Millions on Dec. 31. She found the email telling her she won in her junk email folder. (Image: Michigan Lottery)

Laura Spears visited the Michigan Lottery headquarters earlier this month to pick up the $3 million check she won from playing the multi-state lottery game.

On New Year’s Eve, her ticket matched the first five numbers drawn. That gave her $1 million. She also played the optional multiplier, which tripled her winnings.

But it wasn’t until she was looking for an email that she came across the note from the Michigan Lottery telling her she won. She had purchased her ticket on the lottery’s website after seeing a Facebook ad for the upcoming drawing.

I couldn’t believe what I was reading, so I logged in to my lottery account to confirm the message in the email,” Spears said in a Michigan Lottery release. “It’s all still so shocking to me that I really won $3 million!”

The seven-figure windfall means early retirement for the 55-year-old from Oakland County. She also plans to share some of her fortune with her family.

She also said she added the Michigan Lottery to her “safe senders list” on the off chance she strikes it big again.

Tuesday’s Mega Millions Jackpot at $396M

The Mega Millions still hasn’t gone out since Spears tried her luck. At that point, the jackpot stood at $221 million. On Tuesday night, it’ll be worth an estimated $396 million. The cash option is valued at $273.6 million.

To win it all, a player must select five numbers from a lot of between 1 and 70, and an additional number from a lot between 1 and 25 for the Mega Ball. The odds of winning the grand prize is 1 in 302.6 million.

Other prizes range from $2 for matching only the Mega Ball, to $1 million for matching the first five numbers. The odds of winning any prize is 1-in-24.

Tickets cost $2 each and are available in 45 states (sorry, Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada, and Utah), plus the District of Columbia and the US Virgin Islands. The multiplier option is an extra $1 per chance.

Drawings are held on Tuesdays and Fridays each week, with drawings taking place at 11 pm ET. Check with your state lottery to find out when it cuts off sales for the drawing.

It was last won on Oct. 22, when a family from Lake Havasu City, Ariz., won the $108 million jackpot. The family chose to remain anonymous and claimed the $75.2 million cash option

Sales Steady in Recent Weeks

While the Mega Millions jackpot has not been won in more than three months, ticket sales have been somewhat steady in recent weeks. That’s largely because Powerball, the country’s other multi-state lottery, had a larger jackpot going until it went out three weeks ago at $632 million.

According to Lotto Report, Mega Millions sales reached $43.6 million for the New Year’s Eve drawing, which was a $15 million increase from the Dec. 28 drawing.

None of the first six drawings of 2022 have surpassed the Dec. 31 total, which itself was the highest total since a Sept. 21 jackpot worth $432 million went out. Ticket sales reached $48.6 million for that drawing.

A year ago, the country got caught up in the MegaMillions craze, as the jackpot grew to $1 billion. Four men in Michigan won that jackpot on Jan. 22, the second-largest in the game’s history. Sales for that drawing totaled $366.9 million.