“I don’t have to work until I’m 80,” Wake County man says of lifetime prize

John Ballard Jr. of Raleigh said a $25,000 A Year For Life prize is going to help him with retirement.

“I always thought I would have to be working until I’m at least 80,” said Ballard. “But now, with being able to invest this win, I don’t have to work until I’m 80 anymore! That’s awesome.”

Ballard bought the lucky $2 ticket for the Nov. 15 drawing at Lowes Food on Bass Lake Road in Holly Springs where he is a manager.

He claimed his prize Thursday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh. He had the choice of getting $25,000 a year every year for the rest of his life or a lump sum of $390,000. He chose the lump sum and, after federal and state tax withholdings, took home $ 274,952.

“I’ve been playing the lottery for 20 or so years,” said Ballard. “But I have never won more than $25. I love Lucky For Life. I’m going to continue to tell everyone about this game.”

Players win the $25,000 A Year For Life prize by matching all five white balls. Ballard is the 18th player in North Carolina to claim the game’s second prize since the game started here in February 2016.

In all, there are 10 ways to win a prize playing Lucky For Life. The game’s top prize is $1,000 A Day For Life. So far, two North Carolinians have won the top prize.

Ticket sales from draw games make it possible for the lottery to raise more than $650 million a year for education. For details on how lottery funds have made a difference in all of North Carolina’s 100 counties, click on the “Impact” section of the lottery’s website.