Michigan woman collects $3M lottery prize after checking spam folder

Laura Spears (Credit: Michigan Lottery)

A Michigan woman realized that she won a $3 million Mega Millions prize after checking her spam folder.

Michigan lottery officials said Laura Spears, 55, matched the five white balls – 02-05-30-46-61 – in the Dec. 31, 2021, drawing to win a $1 million prize. However, thanks to the Megaplier, the prize was multiplied to $3 million.

"I saw an ad on Facebook that the Mega Millions jackpot was getting pretty high, so I got on my account and bought a ticket," Spears said in a news release. "A few days later, I was looking for a missing email from someone, so I checked the spam folder in my email account.

"That’s when I saw an email from the Lottery saying I had won a prize," she continued. "I couldn’t believe what I was reading, so I logged in to my Lottery account to confirm the message in the email. It’s all still so shocking to me that I really won $3 million!" 

Spears said she plans to share with her family and retire earlier than she had planned.

RELATED: Retired housekeeper wins $50K in scratch-off lottery for 3rd time

"I definitely added the Michigan Lottery to my safe senders list just in case I ever get lucky enough to receive another email about a huge prize," Spears continued.

Lottery officials said the Mega Millions jackpot was last won on Oct. 22, 2021, when a family in Lake Havasu City, Ariz. won $108 million. 

The current jackpot stands at $376 million.

Mega Millions drawings take place each Tuesday and Friday evening. Each Mega Millions play is only $2. 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 45 states, Washington D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

This story was reported from Los Angeles.