Carolyn Geiss has been playing the Michigan Lottery since it began and her persistence has finally paid off. The 80-year-old just nabbed a $1 million Powerball prize.

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Barely Legal

The Dearborn woman was just old enough to legally buy lottery tickets when the Michigan Lottery was established in November of 1972. She's been playing ever since and tells the Lottery that winning a $1 million prize is "breathtaking."

“I like playing all kinds of Lottery games, and Powerball is one of my favorites,” said Geiss. “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! I have been playing the Lottery since it began, and it feels great to win big.”

Geiss won the big prize when she matched all five white balls in the October 26 drawing. Nobody won the $715 million top prize for that drawing which helped balloon the jackpot to $825 million, on its way up to a record-breaking $2 billion pot in November of this year.

The 80-year-old woman bought her winning ticket at a gas station in Dearborn and says she plans to use the money to help out members of her family.

Nerdy Facts:

The Michigan Lottery's first game was the 'Green Ticket' game on November 13, 1972. Hermus Millsaps of Taylor Michigan is recorded as the first $1 million winner in Michigan Lottery history, winning his prize in February of 1973.

Millsaps and his wife apparently spent all the money they had on bus fare to Lansing to collect their prize and a Michigan Lottery employee drove them back to their home in Taylor, Michigan.

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