4-member lotto club holds $1.05B Mega Millions ticket bought in Novi; one winner identified

Novi — A Florida attorney who graduated from Cooley Law School and three others who make up a four-member lottery club, the Wolverine FLL Club, have stepped forward as the winner of the $1.05 billion Mega Millions drawing on Jan. 22.

That's the largest lotto winnings in Michigan history, and the third-largest in America, according to a video published Friday by the Michigan Lottery system. 

January:'I wish it was me': Novi Kroger shoppers react to $1B lottery ticket bought there

Kurt Panouses, a Florida-based estate lottery lawyer representing the club, has identified himself as one of the winners of the $1.05 billion ticket, Michigan Lottery spokesman Jake Harris said.

"We processed a claim document for him along with the other winners," Harris said. "There were four winners, and he was one of the winners."

Panouses has described the lottery win as "multi-generational money."

"They will be good stewards with these funds," Panouses said in the video. He couldn't immediately be reached Friday for comment.

The winning ticket was purchased almost as an afterthought at an Oakland County supermarket.

“A club member saw a sign that the jackpot was up to $1 billion and remembered that they hadn’t bought their tickets yet so they pulled into the Kroger,” Panouses said. “When you play, of course, you dream of winning, but the reality of it has been incredible."

The group took a lump sum of $776 million. With federal and state taxes, the lottery club is receiving $557 million. The federal tax on the win was 24% and the state tax liability is 4.25%, Harris said. 

The winning ticket — 04-26-42-50-60 and the mega ball of 24 — was purchased at the Kroger store at 47650 Grand River in Novi.

Kroger won a $50,000 commission for selling the winning ticket and donated that money to the Food Bank Council of Michigan.

Michigan law allows winners of lottery prizes in excess of $10,000 to keep their names confidential, Harris said.

State law also permits the Michigan Lottery department to disclose the name, address and other personal information of the winner of multi-state lottery games.

In the case of a lottery club, only one person needs to be identified, Harris added.

"Lottery clubs are quote common," the lottery spokesman said Friday. "In club (wins), it's only one member who needs to come forward."

 Michigan State Rep. Padma Kuppa, D-Troy, has introduced a bill that would allow winners of multi-state lottery games such as Mega Millions and Powerball to remain anonymous.

Associated Press contributed.