For Damian Zepponi of Winston-Salem, a $1,000 a Day for Life prize means she can fulfill a dream of starting a ministry to help others.
Zepponi purchased three $2 Quick Pick tickets at the Food Lion on Yadkinville Road in Pfafftown on Thursday, the day of the drawing. Her second ticket matched all six winning numbers, beating odds of 1 in 30.8 million.
Zepponi said she discovered her good luck the next day when she checked her tickets.
“I couldn’t do anything,” she said, “but sit and cry and be amazed.”
Winners of the Lucky for Life top prize have two options. They can receive an annuity of $365,000 a year guaranteed for the rest of the winner’s life or take a lump sum of $5.7 million in cash.
After talking to a financial adviser, Zepponi, 47, opted for cash and after required federal and state withholdings she took home $4,068,127.
Zepponi said she planned to save and invest the money and live off those investments. She said she would use some of the prize to start a ministry to help others. And she hoped for the first time to take a family vacation with her seven children and four grandchildren all at the same time.
The win made Zepponi the third person in North Carolina to win the game’s top prize. So far 25 players in the state have won the game’s second prize of $25,000 a Year for Life. Lucky for Life is played in 25 states and Washington D.C. Drawings are held Mondays and Thursdays. Tickets cost $2.
Ticket sales from games such as Lucky for Life make it possible for the lottery to raise more than $700 million a year for education. To see how the funds support specific programs in every county, visit nclottery.com and click on the “Impact” section.