WENDELL – Every year, for the rest of his life, Alton Bailey of Wendell will collect another payment of the $25,000 a year for life prize he won playing the Lucky for Life game.
Bailey, a truck driver for 25 years, said he arrived at lottery headquarters Friday without knowing what prize awaited him.
“I really didn’t know how much I won until I got here,” he said. “I was just hoping it was something great.”
He said he couldn’t believe it when he found out he won $25,000 a year for life.
“The first thing I did was smile,” Bailey said. “Then I started sweating.”
Bailey bought his lucky $2 ticket for the Nov. 30 drawing from Riley Hill Mart on Riley Hill Road in Wendell. He won his prize by matching all five white balls in the drawing.
He claimed his prize Friday and had the choice of receiving $25,000 a year each year for the rest of his life or a $390,000 lump sum. He chose the $25,000 a year for life option and, after required federal and state tax withholdings, took home $17,748 in his first yearly payment.
Bailey said he will use the winnings to do some home repairs.
The odds of winning the $25,000 a year for life prize are 1 in 1,813,028.
Lucky for Life is one of four lottery games in North Carolina where players have the option of buying their tickets through a retail location or Online Play, either through the lottery’s website or with the NC Lottery Official Mobile App. Lucky for Life tickets are $2 and drawings are held every night.