Longtime Troy market sells $79 million lottery ticket

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published July 9, 2013

Do the numbers 2, 23, 41, 47, 54 and 42 mean anything to you?

They mean about $30,000 to the Shuwayhat family, who have owned and operated John’s Market at Square Lake and Livernois since 1976.

A $79 million single-jackpot winning ticket in the Mega Millions July 5 drawing was sold at John’s Market July 4.

“It was a sheer fluke,” said Danny Shuwayhat. He explained that it was a last-minute decision to open the store for the holiday, and the person who purchased the ticket is not a regular customer. The winner got off I-75, which was backed up, and came into the store.

“We normally don’t open holidays,” Shuwayhat said.

Shuwayhat said the winner, who does not wish to divulge his or her identify, came into the store the morning of July 8 to thank the owners.

The store will get about $30,000, after taxes, as the seller of the winning ticket, Shuwayhat said.

He said that before this, the biggest winning ticket sold at John’s Market was for a $200,000 payout a few years ago.

Shuwayhat said his father started the business in Detroit in 1957 and moved the store to where it is today in 1976.

Shuwayhat said he’s tried to give back to the community for the past 12 years by volunteering his time for the Troy Baseball Boosters. The store is also a sponsor for the boosters.

“You hope good things happen to good people,” he said.

Other winning Mega Millions lottery tickets for $250,000 each were purchased in Harbor Springs, Sault Ste. Marie, Westland and Waterford in May, according to lottery officials. The $250,000 jackpot is awarded to tickets with five numbers that match those drawn. The larger jackpots must match the five numbers, as well as the Mega Ball, as the winner of the $79 million ticket did.

Andi Brancato, director of public relations for the Michigan Lottery, said the $79 million jackpot for the Mega Millions lottery is not the biggest payout awarded for the game. “The largest was $656 million in March of 2012, shared between Michigan, Illinois, Maryland and Kansas,” she said.

Lottery jurisdictions in 43 states, the Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia comprise the Mega Millions lottery game, Brancato said.

She could not say if the $79 million winner was a random or easy-pick ticket, or if the winner selected the numbers. She did say the winner had not claimed the prize at press time.

“The winner has a year from the drawing date to claim the prize,” she said. 

Brancato said the winner should sign the ticket and put it in a safe place.

The winner has the option of taking a one-time payout of about $54 million or 26 annual payments totaling $79 million, both before taxes.