A lucky mistake led to a big payday for an Illinois man who won $25,000 a year for life playing Lucky For Life.
Michael Sopejstal, 60, won the big prize when his Lucky For Life ticket matched the five white balls drawn on Sept. 17: 11-15-17-24-48. He bought his winning ticket at the GoLo gas station, located at 102 West Buffalo Street in New Buffalo.
“I come to Michigan every few weeks to eat at my favorite restaurant and I always get a Lucky for Life ticket for 10 or 20 draws while I’m here,” said Sopejstal. “I asked the retailer for a ticket for 10 draws, but he accidentally printed a ticket with 10 lines for one draw, but I told him I still wanted it.
“I checked my ticket one morning and saw that I had won $25,000 a year for life. I immediately started thinking about all the things I could do with the money and whether I wanted to take the lump sum or annuity option. It was an amazing feeling!”
Sopejstal visited Lottery headquarters recently to claim his prize. He chose to receive his winnings as a one-time lump sum payment of $390,000, rather than annuity payments of $25,000 a year for 20 years or life, whichever is greater. With his winnings, he plans to travel and then save the remainder.
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. Drawings take place at 10:38 p.m. seven days-a-week. Tickets may be purchased at Lottery retailers across the state and online at MichiganLottery.com.