As Darrin Nunnery of Linden headed to the store Monday night, his wife called out: “Get me a Lucky For Life ticket.” Nunnery rolled his eyes as usual when his wife wants to play the lottery, but he came home with a $2 ticket for that night’s drawing.

That ticket led to the phone call Nunnery got Tuesday morning. “Do you feel lucky?” Nunnery said his wife asked him.

“What do you mean, do I feel lucky?” he replied. “Well,” she said, “we just got five numbers in Lucky For Life. That’s $25,000 a year.”

As Nunnery claimed his prize Tuesday with his wife, a daughter, and a grandson by his side, he looked over at his wife and said, “I told her, the rolling my eyes is over.”

Nunnery said while the good luck is a blessing, it pales to the blessing he’s had over the last four years as he recovered from a brain aneurysm. The former maintenance contractor at Fort Bragg remains disabled, but he says doctors tell him he’s lucky to be around. “I get to see my grandchildren, my wife, more, and my kids, more,” he said.

Winners of the top two prizes in Lucky For Life get a choice. They can claim their prize as an annuity that pays every year for the rest of their life or they can take a lump sum.

Nunnery said some things needed to be done with his home and for his family so he opted for the lump sum of $390,000. After federal and state tax withholdings, he took home $274,954. He says he plans to pay off the mortgage, do some home improvement projects, and take care of some bills. He says he also wanted to “give a little to some people I love very much and give some to my church.”

His Quick Pick ticket, purchased at the Exprezit on North Ramsey Street in the Cumberland County town, beat odds of one in 1.8 million. Nunnery is the 16th person to win the game’s second prize so far in North Carolina. In Monday night’s drawing, two other tickets won $5,000 prizes. One was sold at the Speedway on Leesville Commons Road in Clemmons and the other at Sun-Do on Fayetteville Road in Lumberton.

Ticket sales from games like Lucky For Life make it possible for the lottery to raise more than $600 million a year for education. For details on how $21.6 million raised by the lottery supported education programs in Cumberland County last year, click on the “Impact” section of the lottery’s website,