'Lucky for life:' Illinois man wins $25,000 a year in Michigan Lottery game

A man from Illinois is officially lucky for life after winning a lottery game despite a clerk's error in printing the ticket.

Michael Sopejstal won the Lucky for Life game on Sept. 17, meaning he'll get $25,000 a year for life, the Michigan Lottery recently announced. The 60-year-old bought the winning ticket from a GoLo gas station in New Buffalo, a Lake Michigan town about 70 miles east of Chicago.

"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 the Lottery. "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."

Sopejstal didn't realize the cashier's error could have been a stroke of luck until he checked his ticket after the drawing. He had correctly matched all five white ball numbers that were 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 told the Lottery. "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."

Illinois resident Michael Sopejstal winning ticket
Illinois resident Michael Sopejstal winning ticket

What payout did Sopejstal choose?

Sopejstal recently claimed his prize at Lottery headquarters in Lansing and chose a one-time lump sum payment of $390,000 instead of $25,000 annuity payments for 20 years or life.

Sopejstal intends to travel with the money won and save the rest, the Lottery said.

What is the Lucky For Life game?

Lucky For Life is a game offered by the Michigan Lottery that requires a $2 payment for each play. To win $1,000 daily for life, you 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, you can still win $25,000 yearly for life by matching all five winning numbers.

What are the odds of winning Lucky For Life?

The odds of winning the grand prize of $1,000 a day are one in 30,821,472. The odds of winning the second prize of $25,000 a year for life are one in 1,813,028.

Where can you buy lottery tickets?

Tickets can be purchased in-person at gas stations, convenience stores and grocery stores. Some airport terminals may also sell lottery tickets.

You can also order tickets online through Jackpocket, the official digital lottery courier of the USA TODAY Network, in these U.S. states: 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. The Jackpocket app allows you to pick your lottery game and numbers, place your order, see your ticket and collect your winnings all using your phone or home computer.

Jackpocket is the official digital lottery courier of the USA TODAY Network. Gannett may earn revenue for audience referrals to Jackpocket services. Must be 18+, 21+ in AZ and 19+ in NE. Not affiliated with any State Lottery. Gambling Problem? Call 1-877-8-HOPE-NY or text HOPENY (467369) (NY); 1-800-327-5050 (MA); 1-877-MYLIMIT (OR); 1-800-GAMBLER (all others). Visit for full terms and conditions.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Illinois man wins $25,000 a year in Michigan Lottery's Lucky for Life