SUTTONS BAY, Mich. (WXYZ) — A Michigan man who has seven children and 21 grandchildren won an $80 million Powerball jackpot.
Philip Chippewa, 54, matched all of the winning numbers in the Sept. 21 drawing to win the big prize.
“Any time I see the jackpot getting up there I buy a few tickets and hope for the best,” Chippewa said in a release. “I stopped at Barrels and Barrels the day of the drawing and almost walked out without buying the tickets, but at the last minute, I decided to get four plays.”
“I was at work and my sister sent me a text saying that someone who played at Barrels and Barrels won the Powerball jackpot,” said Chippewa’s wife, Dawn. “My first thought was: ‘He better have bought some tickets!
“After I got home, we were doing our usual Sunday night routine when my sister sent another text to ask if we’d checked Phillip’s tickets. Until then I had forgotten all about the news of a big winner.”
“After I bought the tickets, I had put them away in my truck,” said Chippewa. “I ran out to take a look at them and I didn’t have to look past the first line to see I was the winner. Of course, my wife and son thought I was playing a trick, so my son pulled the numbers up on his phone and read them out loud while Dawn and I looked at the ticket together. By the time he was done, we both had tears in our eyes.”
To confirm they were big winners, the Chippewas decided to head back to Barrels and Barrels and have their ticket scanned.
“As soon as we walked in the clerk asked: ‘Are you guys the big winners?’ said Chippewa. “I handed him the ticket and said: ‘We’re about to find out.’ When the terminal printed a receipt saying to contact the Lottery, we knew our lives had changed.”
“With seven children and 21 grandchildren, I’ve always said that I might not have the most money, but I am rich with family. Now, I have all the money I’ll ever need and can help my family for generations. That means everything to me.”
With his winnings, he plans to buy homes for himself and each of his children and continue to share his winnings with his family. A new motorcycle and a white Dodge Challenger are also on his shopping list.
“Winning is life-changing, but it’s not going to change who we are,” said Chippewa, who is a member of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians. “My wife and I have been together for 25 years, we’ve always helped others and we’re both still working.
“Every day when I come to work my boss asks me: ‘Why are you here?’ I just tell him that I was hired to do a job and I’m not going to abandon anyone just because I won. We’ll both retire in time, but we believe in being good to the community that has been so good to us.”