80-year-old has played Michigan Lottery since it began. She just won big Powerball prize

Keith Srakocic/AP

Persistence has paid off for an 80-year-old woman who said she has played the Michigan Lottery since it began.

“And it feels great to win big,” she recently told lottery officials when claiming her Powerball prize.

Carolyn Geiss, of Dearborn, said that while she has played “all kids of Lottery games” for decades, the Powerball is one of her favorites, according to a Dec. 2 new release.

She bought several tickets for the Oct. 26 Powerball drawing — which had a jackpot estimated to be worth $715 million — and one of those tickets was a big winner.

“I checked the winning numbers as soon as they were posted and when I saw I’d matched five numbers, it took my breath away,” Geiss said in the release.

Her winning ticket had numbers 19-36-37-46-56 and a Powerball of 18, according to the release. She purchased it at Charaf Oil Inc in Dearborn.

Having matched the five white balls, she won a $1 million prize, officials said. Nobody won the Powerball jackpot in the Oct. 26 drawing, which had a Powerball of 24.

After taxes, Geiss took home about $717,500.

“With her winnings, she plans to take care of her family,” according to lottery officials.

The Michigan Lottery began in 1972, about 50 years ago.

If you or a loved one shows signs of gambling addiction, you can seek help by calling the national gambling hotline at 1-800-522-4700 or visiting the National Council on Problem Gambling website.

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