The mystery millionaire of Nineveh is now known after a week of residents double-checking their lottery tickets and wondering who won the
$2 million prize.
The lucky winner: Auto mechanic Michael Sheets won $2 million after purchasing a Powerball ticket from the Nineveh Mini Mart. Sheets picked every number correct for the April 23 drawing except the Powerball; otherwise he would have won $148 million. State and federal taxes amount to about 29 percent of those winnings being withheld, Hoosier Lottery spokeswoman Betsy Gutierrez said.
The Hoosier Lottery announced last week that someone had bought a lottery ticket worth $2 million from the mini-mart, at 8010 S. Nineveh Road, but no one had yet stepped forward to claim the prize.
“Everybody was checking their own tickets,” Nineveh Township Trustee Janet Renner said. “There was a buzz around here, but everyone seems so happy that someone from Nineveh was the one to win.”
Sheets took his $2 million lottery ticket to the Hoosier Lottery office to claim his winnings this week. He met with legal and financial advisers before claiming his prize and plans to invest the money, according to a Hoosier Lottery news release. Sheets declined an interview request.
“The plan is to have a nice retirement and give my kids a chance at a good education,” Sheets said in the release. “It’ll make life just a little bit easier.”
A group of town employees in neighboring Prince’s Lakes pool their money to buy lottery tickets every week. The group rotates where they buy the tickets and previously bought some from the Nineveh Mini Mart.
Donna Von Schriltz, deputy treasurer of Prince’s Lakes, is part of that group; and when she heard about the winning lottery ticket, she wanted to know one thing: Where did her group buy tickets that week?
Unfortunately, that week they went to a different store.
“It was still kind of exciting that the mini mart where the guys had bought tickets from in the past had won,” Von Schriltz said.
When she found out who had won the $2 million prize, Von Schriltz realized it was her mechanic. Sheets owns Sheets Auto Truck and Automatic Transmission Corp. in Nineveh. Von Schriltz has taken her car to Sheets for tune-ups, new brakes and even to replace a door handle.
“I think sometimes, especially as a woman, you are not always sure if a (mechanic) is giving you a fair shake,” Von Schriltz said. “But I feel like he’s honest and takes care of my car. He’s quiet and doesn’t have a whole lot to say, but he is friendly and always polite.”
Sheets isn’t the first Johnson County resident to become a millionaire after buying a lottery ticket. Jennifer Diles of Greenwood won a $6.5 million Hoosier Lotto jackpot in 2003, and Wayne Vaught of Trafalgar won a $28 million Hoosier Lotto jackpot in 1995. A Fort Wayne man won
$1 million when he bought a ticket while passing through Edinburgh.