Man wins $390,000 lottery thanks to retailer’s mishap

Man wins $390,000 lottery thanks to retailer’s mishap

Fortune was on an Illinois man’s side after a store retailer’s simple mistake led him to win $390,000.

Michael Sopejstal, 60, had his life changed completely when he bought a Lucky For Life Ticket in the Michigan Lottery that matched five white balls drawn on 17 September: 11, 15, 17, 24 and 48.

He told Lottery officials that every few weeks, he drives through Indiana to Michigan to eat at his favourite restaurant, and during the journey, he always gets a Lucky for Life ticket for 10 or 20 draws.

He stopped at a GoLo gas station in New Buffalo when the retailer accidentally printed him a ticket with 10 lines for one drawing rather than 10 separate draws.

Mr Sopejstal told him he still wanted it and went on his way, not knowing that he had just purchased a ticket that would turn his world upside down.

When he eventually went to check his ticket he says he was overwhelmed when he discovered he had won $25,000 a year for life.

Mr Sopejstal’s lucky ticket (Michigan Lottery)
Mr Sopejstal’s lucky ticket (Michigan 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,” he said to the Lottery. “It was an amazing feeling!”

Mr Sopejstal visited Lottery headquarters to cash in his ticket. He decided to take his winnings as one lump sum of $390,000 over annuity payments of $25,000 a year for 20 years or life.

Now he says he has decided to invest his money in travelling and put the remainder in savings.

Thanks to the retailer, Mr Sopejstal won a huge prize, but his odds of winning on 17 September were one in more than 1.8 million.

Lucky for Life tickets can be bought in Michigan at retailers in the state or online for just $2 per play, with a chance of winning $3 to a lifetime of cash. Drawings take place at 10.38pm every day.