2019 : Suttons Bay Native American Family Wins Michigan Powerfall Jackpot

September 21, 2023 all-day

Dawn and Phillip Chippewa didn’t expect to win the Powerball Jackpot lottery, in fact they didn’t even remember to check their tickets until a family member texted Dawn to ask what their numbers were.

“I was at work and my sister sent me a text saying that someone who played at Barrels and Barrels won the Powerball jackpot,” Chippewa’s wife, Dawn said. “My first thought was: ‘He better have bought some tickets!’

The family are members of the Ottawa and Chippewa Tribe, and live on the reservation in Suttons Bay.  The Chippewas said they expect to keep on working, but perhaps not the 70 hours a week they have been putting in most of their lives.  They hope they will be able to spend more time joining their 7 children and 21 grandchildren at baseball games and various other family gatherings they have  had to miss up to this point in their lives.

“We have a lot of family, we can take care of them now and do a lot of good,” Dawn said. “I told the kids, well I guess we can have Christmas this year.”

Phillip and Dawn are EMTs for the Ottawa and Chippewa tribe in Suttons Bay.

Phillip has worked for the the tribe for 30 years, Dawn has worked there for almost 25.

“Every day when I come to work my boss asks me: ‘Why are you here?’ I just tell him that I was hired to do a job and I’m not going to abandon anyone just because I won. We’ll both retire in time, but we believe in being good to the community that has been so good to us.”

They said they intend to buy themselves and each of their kids a new house, and Phillip said he’s already looking at Harley Motorcycles.

The lucky couple won on Saturday, September 21, 2019.


Tanya Wildt, “Northern Michigan father of 7 wins $80M Powerball jackpot”, Detroit Free Press, October 23, 2019.

“Michigan family accepts $80 million check” WIMX Channel 10 News.