A 26-year-old man said winning $25,000 a year for life playing the Michigan Lottery’s Lucky For Life game has brightened his future.
Cliff Yaldo, of West Bloomfield, described winning $25,000 a year for life as “the biggest relief of my life” when he visited Lottery headquarters to collect his prize. He matched the five white balls drawn – 08-28-35-38-45 – in Thursday’s Lucky For Life drawing to win his big prize.
“Knowing I have $25,000 coming each year is just such a relief. It’s hard to put into words what it means for me and my family, but it takes so much stress off my shoulders,” said Yaldo.
Yaldo bought his winning Lucky For Life ticket at the Livonia Liquor Shop, located at 28225 5 Mile Road in Livonia. His family has owned and operated the store for the past 11 years.
“As a family business, we all work very hard at the store and do a lot of Lottery business,” said Yaldo. “All three of my brothers and my parents were very excited for me when I won.”
Yaldo credits the store’s customers with alerting him that he might be the big winner.
“On Friday, players were coming in and telling us that the store had sold a winning Lucky For Life ticket,” said Yaldo. “I never in a million years expected it to be mine. I checked my ticket when I got home and went crazy. It’s such a surreal feeling to have won.”
Yaldo will receive payments of $25,000 annually for 20 years or for life, whichever is greater. He could have chosen a one-time lump sum cash payment of $390,000.
Yaldo plans to use his winnings to take a trip and start saving for a wedding, and possibly a new home.
The Yaldo’s family business will receive a $2,000 bonus commission for selling the winning ticket and that money will be invested into the business, Yaldo said.
“Our store is well known in the area for carrying plenty of Michigan wine and craft beer products,” said Yaldo. “Word of our store selling a big winning ticket traveled fast, and we’ve had more people playing Lucky For Life at our store than ever before.”
Through the game’s first 14 draws, Michigan players have won more than $1.9 million playing Lucky For Life, including 14 $5,000 winners. Each Lucky For Life drawing is producing nearly 17,200 winners in Michigan, on average.
All told, Michigan players have bought more than 240,000 winning Lucky For Life tickets.
For just $2 per play, Lucky For Life gives Lottery players a chance to win prizes ranging from $3 to a lifetime of cash. To win the game’s top prize of $1,000 a day for life, players must match all five winning numbers ranging from 1 to 48, plus one Lucky Ball ranging from 1 to 18. Players who match all five winning numbers, but not the Lucky Ball, will win $25,000 a year for life. Lucky For Life drawings take place every Monday and Thursday at 10:35 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at Lottery retailers across the state.