NORWALK, Conn. -- Michael Samlidis of Norwalk has been playing his family's birthdays in the Connecticut Lottery for years. It finally paid off big for him in January as he took second prize on a $2 "Lucky for Life" ticket and won a half-million dollars.
Samlidis was getting ready for his second job when he asked his wife to check the numbers. His ticket matched five of the numbers drawn but missed the Lucky Number Ball.
“When she (my wife) gave me the piece of paper with the numbers she wrote down, my heart nearly jumped out of my chest! I couldn’t believe it,” Samlidis said in a statement. “These are all family’s birthday numbers. I’ve been playing them for years."
The Norwalk resident may have just missed out on a cool $25,000 a year for the rest of his life, but matching those five birthdays still netted him $500,000.
Instead of taking $25,000 a year for 20 years, Samlidis opted to take a lump sum payment of $390,000.
“This prize will make life a little bit easier,” he said in a statement. “We’ll be able to help our kids, our grandchildren, and maybe take a vacation back to Greece, my homeland.”
For selling Samlidis his winning ticket, Hills Confectionery, located at 57 Stevens St. in Norwalk, will receive a $2,500 bonus check from the Connecticut Lottery.