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Waterford Twp. couple claim half of $42M lotto prize

Mike Martindale
The Detroit News

Sterling Heights – Friday the 13th turned out to be one very lucky day for a Waterford Township couple this month.

Kevin Blake purchased a Mega Millions ticket that matched all five numbers and the Mega Ball on Oct. 13 – good for a half share of a $42 million jackpot in the mulitstate lottery.

The other winning ticket was purchased in Rhode Island.

“I’ve played the same number for years,” said Blake, a 54-year-old marketing employee who uses birth dates for himself, his wife, Stephanie, and their daughter.

“I didn’t even realize it was Friday the 13th when I made a routine stop at a 7-Eleven store on the way home from work like I always do and bought $5 worth of tickets, including two Easy Picks,” said Blake.

He met with reporters Wednesday at the Michigan Lottery regional office in Sterling Heights, where he accepted congratulations and a jumbo-sized replica of the jackpot check.

Blake was asleep when the winning numbers were later announced. His wife woke him up with the news that a lucky player in Waterford had won a share of the jackpot.

“I was just excited to hear someone from Waterford had won – not thinking it was us,” Stephanie Blake said.

Kevin Blake said he walked around that weekend – “doing our normal weekend routine” – unware that he had a ticket in his wallet worth $21 million.

When the couple learned the winning ticket had been sold at the 7-Eleven on Airport Road in Waterford Township he always visits, they decided to check the numbers on the ticket.

Becoming instant millionaires still hasn’t sunk in, the Blakes said. Both said they haven’t made any big purchases or plans for the windfall.

“It’s shocking … it’s exciting … but we’re still trying to absorb what’s going on,” said Blake. “We don’t have any plans but to put it somewhere safe. We’re still working.”

Blake’s wife works in an attorney’s office.

When asked what it will mean to their future, he replied: “Retirement might be a little sooner.”

Stephanie Blake said they hadn’t broken the news to relatives or friends yet.

“They don’t know,” she said, adding that will no longer be the case after Wednesday.

Lottery officials said the Blakes chose to receive the $21 million share in a one-time lump sum of $13.1 million. After taxes, they will receive about $9.3 million.

“I’m still buying tickets,” Blake said.

The Blakes’ good fortune is the fourth time since 2003 that a Michigan ticket holder has made a winning Mega Millions purchase on Friday the 13th, lottery officials said. The largest Mega Millions jackpot won in Michigan was $208 million won by a Port Huron couple in April 2005.

The price of Mega Millions tickets, which are sold in 44 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands, will go up to $2 this Saturday.

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