An Illinois man recently nabbed the mistake of a lifetime after he shrugged off a gas station clerk’s error and then won the lottery.
Michael Sopejstal, 60, won $25,000 a year for the rest of his life after he purchased a ticket to a GoLo gas station in New Buffalo, Michigan, in September.
“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,” Sopejstal told Michigan Lottery officials. “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.”
Michigan Lottery did not immediately respond to TODAY.com’s request for comment.
Sopejstal’s willingness to roll with the punches meant he walked away with a ticket that matched the five balls — 11, 15, 17, 24 and 48 — which were drawn on Sept. 17.
“I checked my ticket one morning and saw that I had won $25,000 a year for life,” Sopejstal told officials. “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!”
After visiting lottery headquarters, Sopejstal opted to take his winnings as a one-time lump sum payment, walking away with $390,000 instead of receiving annual payments of $25,000 a year for whatever is longer: 20 years or the remainder of his life.
Sopejstal told Michigan Lottery that he plans to use his big winnings to travel and then pocket the rest for savings.
Lucky For Life is a lottery drawing game that costs $2 per play with a prize range of $3 and as much as a lifetime of money. To win, a player’s numbers must match all five of the winning numbers, which begin at one and go to 48.