For over three hours, Stephen Reaves of Statesville walked around with the prize of a lifetime in his back pocket and didn’t even know it.
Reaves bought his ticket Wednesday, May 11th, for the Lucky for Life drawing on Thursday, May 12th. But he didn’t check it until Saturday.
“I was walking around with the winning ticket in my wallet and didn’t even realize it,” Reaves said.
Reaves went back to the store where he bought the ticket and had the clerk check it. When he found out he won the game’s second prize of $25,000 a Year for Life he couldn’t believe it.
“I was like ‘Oh Lord,’” Reaves said. “It took a little while to sink in.”
Reaves claimed his prize Monday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh. Players who win the game’s top prize of $1,000 a Day for Life or the second prize of $25,000 a Year for Life can collect the payment for as long as they live.
Reaves also had the option of getting a lump sum of $390,000. He chose the cash option. After federal and state tax withholdings, he took home $270,075. He plans to use some of the money to buy a house.
Reaves bought the $2 Quick Pick ticket at the Food Mart on Salisbury Road in Statesville. He matched all five white balls, beating the odds of one in 1.8 million to win the game’s second prize.
This is the 6th time since the game launched in February that a ticket sold in North Carolina has won the $25,000 a Year for Life prize.
20 lotteries play Lucky for Life. In all there are 10 ways to win a prize playing the game. Drawings are held every Monday and Thursday night.
Ticket sales from games like Lucky for Life made it possible for the lottery to raise more than half a billion dollars for the state last year. For details on how over $60.7 million in lottery funds has made a difference in Iredell County, click on the “For Education” section of the lottery’s website.