Oakland County woman learns $3M lesson in winning lottery prize

Carol Thompson
The Detroit News

Laura Spears learned a valuable lesson last month as she perused messages in her email account. 

The lesson: Don't forget to check the spam folder. The value: $3 million.

Spears, 55, of Oakland County won the Michigan Lottery's Mega Millions prize on Dec. 31, the Michigan Lottery announced Monday. She matched the five white balls: 02-05-30-46-61 and won $1 million prize, which was multiplied to $3 million thanks to the "Megaplier."

People who play the lottery can spend $1 extra on a ticket to add the "Megaplier," which could increase their winnings.

Laura Spears, a 55-year-old Oakland County woman, won a $3 million Mega Millions prize in the Dec. 31, 2021 drawing. She almost missed the email that told her she won.

Spears bought her ticket online after seeing a social media advertisement that said the jackpot was getting high. 

But she almost missed the email telling her she had won. It was in her email account's spam folder, which she happened to check while she searched for a different missing message. 

"I couldn't believe what I was reading, so I logged in to my Lottery account to confirm the message in the email," Spears said in a statement. "It's all still so shocking to me that I really won $3 million!"

"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."

The Mega Millions jackpot currently is $376 million. The last jackpot winner was a family in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. The family won $108 million on Oct. 22. 

Each Mega Millions play is $2. Drawings take place on Tuesday and Friday evenings.