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Missouri man collects $1.7 million jackpot

Oct 21, 2004, 9:38 am

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Missouri Lottery

Save one person, a retired southwest Missouri man doesn't plan to shower friends or family members with gifts after winning a $1.7 million Missouri Lotto jackpot.

"My family and friends haven't nurtured any sort of relationship with me," said Bill Michael, 66, of Carthage, "and, in my best Jack Nicholson voice, 'What do you think of me now?'"

Michael, who is a retired laborer at a plant nursery, came forward Wednesday to collect his $1.7 million Missouri Lotto jackpot.

Michael let the computer pick his six numbers in Saturday night's drawing. The lucky numbers were: 7, 9, 11, 13, 15 and 38.

He purchased his ticket at Discount Smokes in Carthage, where he usually stops on Wednesdays and Saturdays to buy $5 worth of tickets. The store will receive $17,000 for the sale.

Michael has no special plans for his winnings, although a shopping trip appeared likely.

"I've been living on a fixed income below poverty level, and this will make a lot more things possible," he said.

But even though he had to ask a former co-worker for a ride to the lottery office in Springfield to file his claim, he doesn't plan any extravagances like a new car. He does, however, plan to buy the former co-worker, a woman at the Botany Shop in Joplin, a tennis bracelet as a thank-you gift.

"It's a good thing she has small wrists," he joked. "Not too many diamonds. Other than that, I haven't decided yet what I'm going to do with it."

And Michael offered this warning for others hoping to benefit from his newfound riches: "Don't call. And I don't need any financial advice."

To date, 196 jackpot tickets worth $1 million or more have been sold since the Missouri Lottery began 18 years ago. Of those sold, 147 were from the Lotto game.

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