A Warren man says his grandmother in heaven helped him win $25,000 a year for life playing Lucky For Life.
Matthew Stelman, 34, matched the five white balls drawn on Nov.17 – 07-14-21-32-33 – to win the big prize. He bought his winning ticket at the Meijer store, located at 29505 Mound Road in Warren.
“Playing the Lottery is one of the things that my grandma and I always did together. Even up until the day she passed away about a year ago, I would tease her and tell her I was going to win big someday,” said Stelman. “When a co-worker texted me to tell me someone from my neighborhood had won Lucky For Life, I knew it had to be me and I knew my grandma had helped make it happen.”
After receiving the text from his co-worker, Stelman went to his car to check his ticket.
“When I saw I matched five numbers, my first thoughts were: ‘Where do I hide the ticket and who do I tell first?’” said Stelman. “I went back into work, but my mind was racing thinking about how much I’d just won.”
Stelman decided to keep his big win a secret until his family gathered for Thanksgiving.
“I pulled my girlfriend and Mom aside and told them first,” said Stelman. “When I told everyone else it took some convincing for them to believe me, but after it finally sank in everyone kept saying the same thing: ‘You know you can thank your grandma for this!’”
Stelman visited Lottery headquarters Tuesday to claim his big prize. He chose to receive payments of $25,000 annually for 20 years or life, whichever is greater. He could have opted to receive a one-time lump sum payment of $390,000.
With his winnings, Stelman plans to take a much deserved vacation to a warm destination this winter and use the remaining payments for investments.
“Having a $25,000 safety net each year for the rest of my life, and the ability to invest the money and produce wealth for me and my family is a tremendous opportunity,” Stelman said.
Michigan players have won about $10.2 million so far playing Lucky For Life, including the seven $25,000 a year for life winners, and 57 $5,000 winners. Each Lucky For Life drawing is producing about 13,600 winners on average in Michigan.
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.