13 Oct Bad Night Turns Into Lucky Day for Michigan Factory Woman
Everyone’s been there. Julie Leach was just having an all-around “bad day” earlier this month. It was late, she had just gotten off the third-shift work at the fiberglass factory she worked at when she decided to stop at the McDonald’s drive-thru, according to the ABC affiliate ABC7Chicago.com. It was there, as she was waiting for her order, that she checked the numbers on her Powerball lottery ticket. Her life won’t ever be the same again.
Leach, age 50, of Three Rivers Michigan, won $310.5 million in lottery payments on the Powerball jackpot. Needless to say she got over her bad day pretty quick. Unlike 48% of lottery payments winners who remain at their place of work, Leach quit her job almost immediately after she found out the good news, calling it a, “nasty, dirty” job.
After electing to receive the money in a $197.4 million lump sum versus annuity, she is set to take home $140 million after taxes. It is the second largest lottery payments prize in the state ever. A mother of three and grandmother of 11, Leach plans to use some of the money to build new houses for her family members in Michigan.
She could have taken her winnings in a lottery annuity settlement, which would have been paid out similar to the Mega Millions. Instead of one lump sum she would have gotten 30 annual lottery payments that gradually increased by about 5%. Instead she gets the bulk of the money she won immediately.
Taking the lump sum is usually the more common approach in big jackpots, but it can lead to trouble as well. Annuity payments restrict winners from blowing all their money in a short amount of time. Approximately 70% of all lottery winners will lose or spend all of their money within five years.
Leach said she’s studied the results of former lottery winners, both good and bad, and she’s prepared herself for what lies ahead.
“I don’t want it to be a curse,” Leach said. “I want it to be a blessing.”