Pop can return lands man $223,000 winning lotto ticket

Posted at 4:20 PM, Apr 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-05 16:20:56-04

BARRY COUNTY, Mich. -- A Freeport man bought a winning lottery ticket after turning in 10 empty Mountain Dew cans.

The Michigan Lottery says 60-year-old Mitch Gillons matched the five numbers drawn in the March 19 Fantasy 5 jackpot: 12-14-16-30-39.  The jackpot is worth $223,916.

“Mountain Dew is my favorite pop and each day I take 10 empty cans to the store and use the money to buy a Fantasy 5 ticket,” Gillons said in a release.  “It’s something I’ve done for years and this time it really paid off.”

Photo from the Michigan Lottery

Gillons worked as a corrections officer for 30 years before retiring and now works in food service at Hastings schools, according to a release.

He said in the release that he likes working with the school district and doesn't plan on leaving the job after winning the money.

"I’ve been enjoying my retirement and working for the Hastings School District and I plan to continue living the same way. I can’t wait to see what I can do with my next batch of Mountain Dew cans,” he said.

Fox 17 spoke with Gillons on Tuesday, who says he plans on making some renovations to his phone, paying off bills and giving some money to his family members.

"Are you going to buy a new truck? Are you going to quit your job? Are you going to go on a cruise? No, I am going to cruise around on my tricked out golf cart in the yard here, that is what I'm going to do" said Gillons.

The Michigan Lottery says he bought the winning ticket at One Stop Shop, 1335 North Broadway St. in Hastings.