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Clerk’s mistake helps man win $390K in Michigan Lottery

Michael Sopejstal decided to keep the ticket after the gas station clerk made a mistake. The decision made him $390,000 richer.

A clerk’s mistake led to a huge payday for an Illinois man.

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Michael Sopejstal, 60, won $25,000 a year for life playing the Michigan Lottery’s Lucky For Life promotion.

According to a news release from the Michigan Lottery, Sopejstal decided to take a $390,000 lump sum after buying the ticket at the GoLo gas station in New Buffalo.

The numbers were drawn on Sept. 17, and Sopejstal matched all five white balls. The winning numbers were 11-15-17-24-48.

“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 in a statement. “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.

“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!”

Sopejstal recently returned to Michigan to claim his prize, MLive reported.

He had the option of taking $25,000 a year for 20 years or life, whichever was greater. Sopejstal preferred the lump sum, so he received the $390,000 before applicable taxes, lottery officials said.

Sopejstal said he plans to use his windfall to travel and put the rest of the cash in savings, lottery officials said.