DEARBORN – Winning a $1 million prize playing Mega Millions turned a Michigan Lottery skeptic into a believer.
Hani Haidar-Ahmad, 55, matched the five white balls drawn – 16-39-47-53-71 – in the July 4 Mega Millions drawing to win a $1 million prize. He bought the winning ticket at the Exxon gas station, located at 24938 Ford Road in Dearborn Heights.
“I’d been playing these same numbers for two years and had never won,” Haidar-Ahmad said. “I was starting to think that the Lottery wasn’t real, but I’m happy to say now I’m the Lottery’s biggest fan!
“I went to the Exxon station to buy my tickets like I always do, and the clerk told me someone had bought a $1 million winner there. I remember telling him, ‘Well I’m sure it wasn’t me.’ Then I asked him for a printout of the winning numbers so I could check my ticket when I got home. When I checked the ticket, I screamed. It was unbelievable.”
Winning that much money was an overwhelming feeling for Haidar-Ahmad. He took several weeks to put together a plan for his winnings before claiming his prize Sept. 13. With his winnings, he plans to invest in a new business, and then save the remainder.
“Money isn’t everything, having your health is very important, but winning this kind of money is definitely life changing,” Haidar-Ahmad said.
Mega Millions drawings take place each Tuesday and Friday evening. Each Mega Millions play is $1. For an additional $1 per play, players have the opportunity to add a “Megaplier” that can multiply non-jackpot prizes by up to five times. Mega Millions tickets are sold in 44 states; Washington, D.C.; and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Tickets for Mega Millions drawings may be purchased at the Lottery’s 11,000 retailers around the state until 10:45 p.m. the day of the drawing.