Bailey man nets $275,000 lottery prize

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RALEIGH — Alex Jasinski of Bailey checks his email every morning before work, but this time, sitting in his inbox, was a message telling him he’d won a $25,000 a year for life from the North Carolina Education Lottery.

“When I saw it I couldn’t believe it,” said Jasinski, a bus driver for Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools. “I did a double take and thought, ‘What? Huh? Is this for real?’’’

Jasinski bought the $2 ticket for Thursday’s drawing on the lottery’s website using online play.

“I wasn’t going to play Lucky For Life,” Jasinski said. “I just had a feeling I should. To be honest, I never thought I was going to win. It feels like a dream. I keep thinking I’m going to wake up.”

Jasinski claimed his prize Friday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh. He had the choice of getting $25,000 a year every year for the rest of his life or a lump sum of $390,000. He chose the lump sum and after federal and state tax withholdings, he took home $274,954.

He called the prize “life-changing” and said he plans to use some of the money to pay bills.

“I’m ready to start a bright future,” Jasinski said.

The Lucky For Life ticket beat odds of one in 1.8 million to win the game’s second prize of $25,000 a year for life. So far, two North Carolinians have won the top prize, $1,000 a day for life, and 15 have won the second prize. There are 10 ways to win a prize playing Lucky For Life.

Players can purchase Lucky For Life tickets at their favorite retail location, or on the lottery’s website. When players use online play, they can buy tickets for Cash 5, Powerball, Mega Millions and Lucky For Life.