While the auto industry in Detroit might be having some cash flow problems these days the same can’t be said for Chrysler service engineer Chris Crane, who won $42 million playing Mega Millions in last Friday’s game.
The winning numbers were 13,28,32,41,52 and a Mega Ball 16.
So happy was Crane that he vowed to retire from Chrysler (“within weeks”) and become a pecan farmer in Georgia.
“I always wanted to do a little bit of farming,” Crane told Michigan Lottery officials. He has some property in Georgia. “This will be my chance,” he said.
Crane’s wife, Tina, an X-ray technician, also plans to retire. Her dream is to start a horse ranch for disabled children.
With the stock market as unsteady as it is these days, the Cranes opted to get the winnings over time rather than taking a lump-sum cash payment. This is unusual. Most big winners take the cash.
The first payment is $1.65 million before taxes followed by annual pretax payments of $1.61 million for 25 years. The lump sum would have been $26.3 million, before taxes.
Crane said his first purchase will be a Chrysler Town & Country minivan for Tina because that is “what she wants.” He wants a red Challenger, the new retro-style muscle car created by Dodge.
He has played the same Mega Millions numbers regularly for a couple years, spending $20 twice a week on lottery tickets.
He found out he hit it big after returning home Saturday from a garage sale. He said he got on the Internet, saw the lottery numbers matched and saw the match.
He woke up his wife, who works the all-night shift.
“She looked at me and said, ‘Mister, this better not be a joke.”‘
Crane is the eighth Michigan winner since the 12-state game began in 2002. The jackpot is Michigan’s sixth-largest.
In the Money:
No one won last night’s Mega Millions jackpot, so Tuesday’s game will be worth $23 million. Friday’s wining numbers were 14,15,43,46,48 and the Mega Ball was 21. Two winning tickets, in California and New Jersey, matched five balls, but not the Mega Ball, and won $250,000 each.
Tonight’s Powerball jackpot is $20 million.
TOP FIVE POWERBALL JACKPOTS, all time
1. $365,000,000 , Feb. 18, 2006,
ConAgra Foods Co-Workers, Nebraska
2. $340,000,000, Oct. 19, 2005,
Steve & Carolyn West and Bob & Francis Cheney, Oregon
3. $314,924,354, Dec. 25, 2002,
Jack Whittaker, Scotts Depot, West Virginia
4. $314,305,920, Aug. 25, 2007,
Coterel & Hiles Family, Indiana
5. $295,700,932 , July 29, 1998,
The Lucky 13, Columbus, Ohio