An Illinois man is now living a charmed life as the winner of a lottery game, overcoming a ticket printing error made by a clerk.
The Michigan Lottery recently declared Michael Sopejstal the victor of the Lucky for Life game on Sept. 17, entitling him to an annual payout of $25,000 for the rest of his life. Sopejstal, a 60-year-old resident, purchased the winning ticket at a GoLo gas station in New Buffalo, situated approximately 70 miles east of Chicago in the town of Lake Michigan.
Sopejstal shared the intriguing circumstances that led to his fortunate win, stating, “I make occasional trips to Michigan to dine at my favorite restaurant, and each time, I purchase a Lucky for Life ticket for 10 or 20 draws. On this particular occasion, I requested a ticket for 10 draws, but the cashier mistakenly printed a ticket with 10 lines for just one draw. Despite the error, I insisted on keeping it.”
It wasn’t until after the drawing that Sopejstal realized the potential stroke of luck embedded in the cashier’s mistake. He had successfully matched all five white ball numbers drawn: 11, 15, 17, 24, and 48.
“I checked my ticket one morning and saw that I had won $25,000 a year for life,” he recounted. “The realization was incredible, and I immediately began contemplating how to use the money, whether to opt for the lump sum or the annuity option.”
What decision did Sopejstal make?
Sopejstal recently claimed his winnings at the Lottery headquarters in Lansing and opted for a one-time lump sum payment of $390,000 over the $25,000 annuity payments spanning 20 years or his lifetime.
The Lottery reported that Sopejstal has plans to travel with his newfound fortune and save the remainder.
What is the Lucky For Life game?
Lucky For Life is a game provided by the Michigan Lottery, requiring a $2 payment for each play. To secure the daily $1,000 for life prize, players must match all five winning numbers ranging from 1 to 48, along with one Lucky Ball ranging from 1 to 18. Even without the Lucky Ball, matching all five winning numbers ensures a $25,000 annual payout for life.
What are the odds of winning Lucky For Life?
The likelihood of claiming the grand prize of $1,000 a day stands at one in 30,821,472, while the odds of securing the second prize of $25,000 a year for life are one in 1,813,028.
Where can lottery tickets be purchased?
Tickets are available for purchase in-person at gas stations, convenience stores, and grocery stores. Additionally, some airport terminals may stock lottery tickets.
For those in select U.S. states, including Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, Washington D.C., and West Virginia, Jackpocket, the official digital lottery courier of the USA TODAY Network, allows online ticket ordering.
The Jackpocket app permits users to select their lottery game and numbers, place orders, view tickets, and collect winnings using a smartphone or computer at home.
Jackpocket is the official digital lottery courier of the USA TODAY Network. Gannett may receive revenue for directing audiences to Jackpocket services.
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