Just weeks before her 60th birthday, Winston-Salem resident Irma Richardson won a $25,000 a year for life prize playing the Lucky for Life game.

“This is a very nice early birthday present,” Richardson said.

She bought her lucky $2 Quick Pick ticket for Thursday’s drawing using Online Play. She matched all five white balls to win her prize. The odds of matching all five white balls are 1 in 1.8 million.

“I love Online Play I’ve been doing it since it first came here,” she said.

When Richardson first opened her email and saw the big prize, she had such a strong reaction that her husband thought something was wrong.

“I think he thought I saw something crawling on the ground or something,” she laughed. “He was like, ‘What’s wrong with you?’”

Richardson claimed her prize Monday and had the choice of receiving $25,000 a year for the rest of her life or a $390,000 lump sum. She chose the $390,000 lump sum and, after required state and federal tax withholdings, took home $278,851.

“I’m only a few years from retirement so this is very nice to have,” she said. “I’m just glad to be here.”

Lucky for Life is one of six lottery games in North Carolina where players have the option of buying their tickets through a retail location or Online Play. Lucky for Life drawings are held every night.

For details on how $21.5 million raised by the lottery made a difference for education programs in Forsyth County last year, visit www.nclottery.com and click on the “Impact” section.