Lotto of a lifetime in small Michiana town

NOW: Lotto of a lifetime in small Michiana town

COLON, Mich. — A jackpot up for grabs in Colon, Michigan is so big, if every person in the village took home a piece —they'd each walk away with nearly one $167 in their pocket.

“We have a potential of hitting just over $211,00,” Mikeal Smoker said, the finance officer for the Colon American Legion.

It’s all in the cards. This queen of hearts lottery is putting the Colon American Legion on the Map.

Some folks, coming from hours away to try their luck. Within just five hours, Friday, the jackpot grew by a whopping $11,000.

“Each week we draw, and no one has got the queen yet, it went down to the last week,” Smoker said.

For 52 weeks straight, there's been no winner, and a jackpot is growing by the hour. 46, 47, and 50 are the lucky numbers left.

The lucky winner will be drawn on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. and will get to take home half of the grand total. The other half is going towards a project that Mikeal Smoker has been working on for years.

“In the center of veterans memorial park there will be a statue," Smoker said.

A rundown park right near Palmer Lake, steps away from the American Legion, will be transformed into the Veterans Memorial Park with the money raised.

“Colon village asked me to start this project about five years ago, so this little park right here was called Swan Creek Park, and we decided to call it Veterans Memorial Park,” Smoker said.

The queen of hearts jackpot is funding the project faster than expected. Smoker says the park is expected to be finished in the next three to 5 years.

“Let’s say our goal is $600,000 and we’re gonna be probably somewhere around 180,000 so not quite a third,” Smoker said.

A veteran himself, building the park is a passion for Smoker and to so many in the small village.

So, while most are handing over two dollars a ticket, hoping for a lucky draw, for Smoker, it's about his vision becoming more of a reality with every dollar.

“I can actually say I did something worth-while in my lifetime putting together a veterans memorial park for all the veterans in the area,” Smoker said.

So, no matter what's in the cards Saturday night, for veterans like Smoker, it's a win.

“It’s, it’s amazing.”

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