Clerk's mistake leads to big Michigan Lottery jackpot

Michael Sopejstal credited a store clerk's error with earning him a Michigan Lottery prize of $25,000 a year for life. Photo courtesy of the Michigan Lottery

Nov. 21 (UPI) -- An Illinois man said a store clerk's error led to his winning a prize worth $25,000 a year for life from the Michigan Lottery.

Michael Sopejstal, 60, told Michigan Lottery officials he likes to buy Lucky for Life tickets whenever he visits Michigan.

"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 said. "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's ticket from the GoLo gas station on West Buffalo Street in New Buffalo turned out to match all five white balls in the Sept. 17 drawing: 11-15-17-24-48.

"I checked my ticket one morning and saw that I had won $25,000 a year for life. 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," he said.

The winner said he plans to use his prize money to travel and boost his savings.