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Davenport Couple Claim Prize Of $25,000 A Year For Life

Ray & Delena Eckstein Could Clearly See Their Big Win

Ray & Delena Eckstein

CLIVE, Iowa – A Davenport woman quickly found an important purpose for her improved eyesight after having Lasik vision-correction surgery last week: She double-checked the lottery ticket her husband bought to confirm that they had indeed won a prize of $25,000 a year for life.

Ray Eckstein of Davenport said he used his laptop computer to look up the winning numbers from Thursday's Lucky for Life® drawing and thought their ticket had matched the first five numbers but missed the Lucky Ball.

"I spun it around to my wife and had her double-check it because she's got good eyes now!" he said as thy both laughed. Delena Eckstein said she told him he was right -- and then they had to wait through the long Labor Day holiday weekend before claiming their prize Tuesday at Iowa Lottery headquarters in Clive.

Ray Eckstein said they were excited, but nervous.

"We kept making sure the ticket was still good!" he said. "When you win like that, it's kind of hard to believe."

Ray, 58, who retired earlier this year after working for years in maintenance in the Quad-Cities area, and Delena, who works as a human-resources consultant, said they plan to put the bulk of their winnings into retirement savings. Ray said the additional infusion into their retirement accounts will make things easier.

"It puts your mind at ease because you've got a nest egg sitting back there," he said.

They also said they need a new lawnmower and home furnace. The couple splurged in 2017 and bought a new Harley-Davidson motorcycle, so Ray admitted he might get some additional accessories for it. Delena hedged that she'd like a new cupholder for the bike.

The Ecksteins won Iowa's fifth big prize in Lucky for Life since the lotto game debuted here in January 2016.

Their ticket matched the first five numbers but missed the Lucky Ball in Thursday night's drawing to win the game's second prize of $25,000 a year for life. Ray Eckstein bought their ticket at the Kwik Shop convenience store, 3624 W. Locust St. in Davenport.

Lucky for Life is a $2 game with drawings twice a week, at 9:38 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays. The game's top two prize levels are described as "lasting as long as you do," meaning that they are truly for life. The minimum guaranteed payout for those two prize levels is 20 years, and there is a lump-sum option for players who would prefer that rather than lifetime annuity payments.

The winning numbers in Thursday's Lucky for Life drawing were: 16-20-32-40-46 and Lucky Ball 10. Kwik Shop will receive a $500 bonus from the lottery for selling the Ecksteins' winning ticket at one of its stores.

Players in Lucky for Life choose five numbers from a pool of 48 for the white balls and 1 out of 18 numbers for the Lucky Ball. Players can win the game's top prize of $1,000 a day for life by matching all six numbers selected in one of its drawings. The game's second prize - for matching the first five numbers but missing the Lucky Ball - is $25,000 a year for life. Other prize levels in the game range from $4 up to $5,000.

The odds of winning Lucky for Life's top prize are about 1 in 30.8 million, as compared to odds of about 1 in 292.2 million of winning the Powerball® jackpot; and odds of about 1 in 302.6 million of winning the Mega Millions® jackpot.

Lucky for Life Prize:  $25,000 a year for life
Chosen to receive as:  $390,000 lump-sum option
Federal withholding:  $93,600
State withholding:  $19,500
Net amount:  $276,900

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