Wife says go back to sleep, you're just dreaming
By Kate Northrop
DEARBORN HEIGHTS, Mich. — A Michigan man had to rub his eyes just to be sure he was seeing correctly when he woke up and found out that he had won $25,000 a year for life in the multi-state game Lucky for Life.
It was an early and hazy morning for Matt Swindall, 45, of Dearborn Heights, who checked his phone bleary-eyed upon waking up. What he saw on his screen wasn't just a dream — it was reality.
"I got up early to get ready to head up north for a friends weekend trip," he recounted. "I checked my email right when I got up and had one from the Lottery that was different than anything I had ever gotten."
Swindall had awoken to the news that he had matched all five white balls drawn in the Lucky for Life drawing on Aug. 19. Beating the odds of about 1 in 1.8 million by hitting the numbers 11, 12, 16, 38, and 48 earned him the second prize of $25,000 a year for life. Matching the lucky ball in addition to those five numbers at odds of about 1 in 30.8 million would have netted him the top prize of $7,000 a week for life.
He had purchased the winning ticket online. According to the Michigan Lottery, he is the eighth Michigan Lottery player to win a lifetime prize in the Lucky for Life game this year.
"I logged into my account and really didn't believe what I was seeing," the winner told the Lottery. "I rubbed my eyes over and over, but the screen kept showing the same thing: I had won $25,000 a year for life."
In that moment, Swindall shared the news with his wife, who was sleeping right next to him, but the initial excitement of winning the lottery did not seem to hit home.
"I woke my wife up and told her we'd hit the lottery," he recalled. "Of course, she didn't believe me, so I showed her my phone. She told me I was dreaming and went back to sleep! When I called to make the appointment to claim my prize, it finally hit her that we'd won!"
Dreams became reality when Swindall visited Lottery headquarters in Lansing to claim his prize. Rather than accept it as a lifetime prize, he chose to receive it as a one-time lump sum payment of $390,000.
With the prize money, the winner plans on buying a new home, adding to his children's college funds, and saving the remainder.
"Winning is pretty amazing and life changing for us," he said in a press release. "It's going to put us at ease financially for a long time to come."