Kevin and Stephanie Blake claimed their Mega Millions prize on Wednesday in Lansing. Photo: Michigan Lottery
LANSING, Mich. (WJBK) - A Waterford man who's played the same numbers at the same 7-Eleven for years finally hit it big in the Mega Millions and had no idea.
Kevin Blake, 54, said that he's stopped at the 7-Eleven on Airport Road in Waterford for years and played the same numbers over and over and over again. He didn't even think about it being Friday the 13th when he stopped and played the familiar numbers: 02-07-18-26-31, Mega Ball: 12
“I’ve played the same numbers for years, it didn’t even occur to me that it was Friday the 13th” said Blake. “For just about every Mega Millions drawing for as long as I can remember, I’ve gone to the same 7-Eleven and bought $5 in Mega Millions tickets. I always play some family birthdays and then I get a couple of Easy Picks.”
After walking out with his Mega Millions tickets, he put them away and went about his day and weekend.
“I tucked the ticket in my wallet and didn’t give it another thought,” said Blake. “My wife and I went about our normal weekend routine. Little did we know that I had a ticket worth $21 million in my pocket the entire time.”
Even though Kevn wasn't paying attention, his wife, Stephanie, was. She saw that someone from Waterford had won but never actually thought it was Kevin holding the lucky ticket.
“I was watching the news Saturday night after Kevin had gone to bed and they ran a story about a Mega Millions jackpot winner being sold in Waterford,” said Stephanie. “I thought: ‘How neat that someone from our town won!’ so, I went and woke Kevin up to tell him. As we started looking more into the story about the winner, we saw the ticket was bought at the 7-Eleven Kevin always goes to. That’s when we decided we’d better pull up the numbers.”
“We got online and pulled the numbers up,” Kevin said. “Almost in unison, we both said: ‘Those are our birthdays!’ At that point, I looked at Stephanie and said: ‘High five! We won!’”
Then they slept...well, they tried.
“Neither one of us slept much on Saturday night,” said Kevin. “The next morning I went for a walk to try and process what had happened the night before and Stephanie went to work.”
The prize was for $42 million that night but someone in Rhode Island hit the same numbers so it will be split between the two winners.
The Blakes elected to collect a one-time lump sum of about $13.1 million. After taxes, they will receive about $9.3 million but say they won't change.
“This is an incredible amount of money, but we’re planning to be smart - not spontaneous - with it,” said Kevin. “We’ve always lived within our means and had a comfortable life and this won’t change how we approach things. We’re both planning to continue working and will use this to pay off bills and then invest the remainder for our retirement. It’s great to know that the stress of worrying about our financial future is over.”
Friday the 13th has been historically lucky for Michigan players.
The Michigan Lottery says that since 2003, it has given away more than $155 million of Mega Millions prizes on Friday the 13th drawings. Now another big jackpot will be added to this list.