Michigan Player's Accidental Mega Millions Purchase Won Him $2 Million

Most people's mistakes don't lead them to become multimillionaires - but for one Michigan Lottery player, that's exactly what happened last summer when he accidentally bought an extra Mega Millions ticket, leading to a pair of $1 million prizes.

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Dearborn Heights resident Samir Mazahem's Mega Millions numbers matched all five white balls in the June 9 drawing: 1, 5, 9, 10, and 23. Because he also purchased a second identical play, his win was doubled to $2 million!

"I went online and bought a ticket using numbers that are family birthdays," Mazahem, 56, told Michigan Lottery officials.

"I forgot to save the numbers as favorites in the app, so I went back in and set them up as favorites so I could easily play them in the future," he said.

The lucky accident was due to some confusion when he made the purchase: "What I didn’t realize, is that meant I would be buying a second ticket with the same numbers. Once I figured out I had bought two tickets with identical numbers, I was a little bummed but didn’t think much about it."

In fact, it wasn't until much later that Mazahem got around to checking his numbers, so he got quite a shock when he finally pulled up his account. "I recently logged into the app to check on some tickets I had bought, and that is when I saw I had two $1 million prizes pending," he said.

Mazahem was in disbelief that his amazing win could truly be genuine. "Saying that I was stunned is an understatement. I couldn’t believe it was real. It took several days for the reality to set in that my mistake had paid off to the tune of $2 million!"

The Michigan Lottery requires prizes to be claimed within one year from the winning draw date. Mazahem recently visited the Lottery's Lansing headquarters to redeem his pair of winning tickets.

He plans to buy a home with part of the payout and will save the remainder. "Winning is exciting and gives me some comfort knowing that when I retire, I will have money in the bank," he said.

Michigan wittholds 24 percent federal taxes and 4.25 percent state taxes before paying out lottery wins.

Coincidentally, the June 9 draw was also the first time a Mega Millions jackpot was won in Arizona. A husband and wife from Glendale stepped forward to claim the $414 million win just days later. The couple, who remained anonymous, also chose their winning numbers based on family birthdays.

$2 Million Powerball Prize Won in Michigan

Another Michigander also has millions of reasons to smile after he hit the Powerball second prize.

Robert Mihalyfi, 65, purchased the lucky ticket at KC’s Lake Thirteen Party Store at 587 West Surrey Road in Farwell, around 20 miles north of Mt. Pleasant.

He told the Michigan Lottery that he's not even a regular Powerball player. "I usually play Fantasy 5 but decided to buy a Powerball ticket too that day," he said. "I checked the ticket the next day and I was stunned!"

His ticket matched all five white balls in the September 30 draw - 14, 18, 36, 49 and 67 - scoring the game's $1 million Match 5 prize.

However, Mihalyfi had added the Powerplay option to his ticket for an extra $1, meaning his win was multiplied to $2 million!

"It’s an amazing feeling to win, and it means a more secure and comfortable retirement for my wife and me," Mihalyfi told Michigan Lottery officials when he visited Lansing to collect his winnings. "We’ll share this with our family, and then put the rest towards our retirement."

Mega Millions and Powerball Hit $266 Million

There are some awesome lottery prizes up for grabs this week. Mega Millions kicks things off tonight, Tuesday, November 3, with a $129 million jackpot. There's another chance to win tomorrow, November 4, when an impressive $137 million Powerball top prize could be yours. Tickets are available now for both draws.

Published: Tuesday, November 3, 2020
Updated: Tuesday, November 3, 2020