Michigan Woman Claims $70 Million Powerball Jackpot

Friday June 19th 2020

Cristy Davis of Waterford, Michigan, has stepped forward to claim the $70 million Powerball top prize she won in February. After checking her numbers, "All I could do was scream," she said.

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Davis, 40, had been struggling financially, living with her grandmother and just making ends meet. That changed instantly when she matched all six numbers in the Wednesday, February 12 draw - white balls 14, 47, 54, 55 and 68 plus the red Powerball 25.

It was the second big jackpot scored in two days in February, after a single ticket in Edison, New Jersey won the $202 million Mega Millions grand prize. That winner has not come forward to claim yet.

Davis, a mom of two and grandma of one, purchased her easy pick ticket at the Huron Plaza Liquor store at 694 West Huron Street in Pontiac.

"My friend and I stopped at the party store that day to buy some Lottery," she said. "I bought a couple scratch-offs and decided to get one Mega Millions ticket and one Powerball ticket, too.

"I was at work the next morning when my friend FaceTimed me and asked me if I had checked my ticket because the news was saying the winning ticket was bought at the Huron Plaza Liquor.

“I got off the phone and went to my truck to get the ticket. After I checked it, all could do was scream. Everyone from work came running to check on me. Once I got calmed down, my boss made sure I was able to get a ride home because there was no way I would be able to drive after learning I was a multi-millionaire.”

Davis spoke to Michigan Lottery officials about her incredible win in a remote video call held in April during Gov. Whitmer's stay-at-home order.

Davis's mother, Patricia, recalled that her daughter had always dreamed of a big win: "I remember when Cristy was a teenager, we were at a family gathering talking about what we would do if we ever won big in the lottery. She said: 'I'd get my car fixed.' Now, she'll never have to worry about having a broken-down car again."

Davis was congratulated by the owner of Huron Plaza Liquor. "I am so happy for Cristy and her family," said Yousef Antoo. "We are thrilled to have sold her the winning ticket and I am looking forward to sharing the $50,000 bonus commission with my employees and church, and doing some improvements at my store."

Davis opted to receive her prize money as a single lump sum payment of $49.78 million. After taxes, she took home approximately $36 million.

The alternative was 30 annual annuity payments made over 29 years, which would have seen her receive the full advertised jackpot of $70 million.

What are the newly-minted multimillionaire's plans for her overnight wealth? Davis says she'll purchase a new home and car, then invest the remainder, and hopes to provide a comfortable life for herself and her children and grandchildren.

"Winning has caused me to feel overwhelmed, grateful, and relieved all at once. I won't have to live paycheck-to-paycheck any more," she said.

Previous Michigan jackpot winners

Davis's prize is the second time big lottery luck has struck in Waterford, after Kevin and Stephanie Blake shared a $42 million Mega Millions prize with a Rhode Island player in 2017. The Blakes purchased their ticket at 7-Eleven, 3461 Airport Road in Waterford. Kevin Blake chose a combination of family birthdays as the winning numbers.

And it seems there's nothing unlucky about Friday the 13th if you're a Michigan lottery player - quite the opposite, in fact. The Blakes were the fourth Michigan ticket since 2008 to win a Mega Millions jackpot on the date!

Davis is the fifth Michigander to claim a Powerball jackpot since ticket sales launched in the state on January 31, 2010. In the past five years, four state residents have taken home a Powerball or Mega Millions jackpot.

Michigan really loves playing the lottery - so much that it's number 11 among states that spend the most on tickets: $388.97 per year for the average adult (nationwide, it's $288.06). Find out where the latest prize ranks on the list of the top 10 Michigan jackpot wins.

Most recently, Suttons Bay grandfather Phillip Chippewa, hit an $80 million Powerball jackpot last September. He chose the cash option payment of $55.3 million, which came to around $42 million after tax withholdings.

In 2015, Julie Leach of Three Rivers won a $310.5 million Powerball jackpot. She took the cash option and received a single lump sum payment of $197.4 million - about $140 million after taxes.

The biggest lottery win ever in the Wolverine State was on August 15, 2012, when Donald Lawson hit an incredible $337 million Powerball jackpot. The 44-year-old from Lapeer chose the single cash payout of $224.6 million before withholdings.

Weekend jackpots

The current Powerball jackpot is $25 million for the next drawing on Saturday, June 20 - get your tickets now for your chance to win.

If you just can't wait that long, you can play Mega Millions tonight, Friday, June 19 - there's a $26 million top prize up for grabs.

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