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Michigan's newest Mega-Millions Millionaire goes public

Amy Gourlay has been keeping a secret, but the cat is out of the bag now.
Amy Gourlay has been keeping a secret, but the cat is out of the bag now.

NILES  (WKZO) -- What would you do if you won a million dollars? A west Michigan woman has just revealed that she has been grappling with that question for a week and a half now, and she thinks she has an answer.

Amy Gourlay of Niles says the answer is different than if she had won the Mega-Ball jackpot that was up for grabs last week. That huge pot of money, $636-million will be split by families in California and Georgia.

On that same day, December 17th, Gourlay stopped by Martin’s Supermarket in that Berrien County community just north of South Bend, and purchased their lottery tickets as she usually does when the jackpot gets really big, and then stuck it to the refrigerator with a magnet. That’s standard operating procedure in their home.

Her husband didn’t check it until the next day, and only then did they discover they had gotten five numbers right, but missed the Mega-Ball by just one number. They had to go to the web to learn that meant they had won a million dollars.

Until Friday afternoon, it was a secret except for immediate family members and the people they needed to consult, their lawyer and financial advisors.

She hopes it doesn’t change them, in fact that’s her plan, she is a substitute teacher and her husband works, and she doesn’t want that to change. After taxes, they will get about 700-thousand dollars.

She says there will be some good changes. Their goal has been to save enough to put their kids through college and have a secure retirement. Those big life goals have now been achieved.

She says eventually they will do something fun but they plan to think about it for a while first. She is only 46.

She says had she changed the Mega-Ball by just one number from an 8 to a 7 and won a share of the big jackpot she thinks she would have been forced to change. Gourlay says that much money brings with it a great deal of responsibility to her family and her community and she says she is kind of grateful she doesn’t have to make those choices.