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Mistaken Lottery Ticket Brings Major Win For Illinois Man

Player Cashes Big In ‘Lucky For Life’ Promotion


A communication error recently led to quite a windfall for one Illinois resident while on a visit to Michigan. Michael Sopejstal enjoyed playing the “Lucky for Life” lottery while in the Wolverine State and headed to a GoLo gas station in New Buffalo in September to purchase a few tickets.

Instead of the gas station attendant handing Sopejstal his exact ticket request, he was given several numbers for the same lottery drawing. Sopejstal thought about pointing out the mistake, but ultimately accepted the ticket anyway. That go-with-the-flow attitude turned out to be the right decision.

“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 explained. “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.”

Wrong Ticket Brings Major Payday

Sopejstal’s ability to simply roll with the punches certainly proved to be fortuitous. The drawing was held on Sept. 17 and matched all five numbers – 11, 15, 17, 24, and 48.

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

The ‘Lucky for Life’ game actually offers players two payout options: $25,000 annually for a minimum of 20 years or the remainder of the winner’s life; or a $390,000 lump-sum payout. Sopejstal, who is 60 years old, chose the latter and plans on using some of the cash for traveling while putting back some for savings.

This isn’t the only recent case of a lottery win with an interesting twist. In early November, a South Carolina woman believed she’d won $10,000. However, after redeeming her ticket, she was told that she’d actually won $100,000.

“I started crying,” she said. “Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought something like that would have happened to me.”