Cashier’s mistake leads to Illinois man winning $25,000 a year for life

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A gas station cashier’s mistake was an Illinois man’s lucky day after he won $25,000 a year for life in the Michigan lottery.

Michael Sopejstal, 60, was visiting New Buffalo, Michigan, when he bought the winning Lucky for Life ticket, the Michigan Lottery said.

“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, who lives in Illinois, told lottery officials.

The clerk at the GoLo gas station, however, mistakenly printed a ticket with only one draw.

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“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,” the lotto winner said.

During the drawing on Sept. 17, Sopejstal matched the five white balls drawn: 11-15-17-24-48.

Lottery drawing with lottery balls shuffled

“I checked my ticket one morning and saw that I had won $25,000 a year for life,” Sopejstal said. “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!”

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Sopejstal returned to Michigan to claim his prize at the state lottery headquarters, choosing to receive the winnings as a one-time lump sum payment of $390,000 instead of the annuity.

With the annuity option, Sopejstal would have received $25,000 a year for 20 years or life, whichever turned out to be the greater option.

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The lucky winner said he plans to use some of the winnings to travel and save the rest.

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