A Houghton Lake man is looking forward to some financial freedom after winning $25,000 a year for life playing the Michigan Lottery’s Lucky For Life game.
Mike Darocha, 69, matched the five white balls drawn March 19 – 17-26-31-32-45 – to win the big prize. He bought his winning ticket at the Country Peddler Store, located at 4845 East Houghton Lake Drive in Houghton Lake. It is the 19th time that a Michigan player has won a lifetime prize in the Lucky For Life game.
“My wife always checks our tickets, and she came to our living room and told me that I won,” said Darocha. “She said I won the second prize, but I had no idea it was this much!”
Darocha visited Lottery headquarters today to claim his prize. He chose to receive his winnings as a one-time lump sum payment of $390,000, rather than annuity payments for 20 years or life, whichever is greater. With his winnings, Darocha said he plans to buy “whatever he wants.”
“I’ve been retired for several years and maybe now I’ll be able to convince my wife to take a vacation with me,” Darocha said.
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.