HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (News Release) — Antonios Gioulis of Huntersville has been playing the same five lottery numbers since the 1980s. This past Sunday, on Halloween night, those numbers won him a $25,000 a Year for Life prize.
“These are the numbers I randomly picked,” said Gioulis, a banker with Wells Fargo. “I just stuck with them. I played the very first lottery week in Pennsylvania with these numbers, and I won a thousand bucks.”
Gioulis said his persistence paid off on Halloween night when he decided to buy a Lucky for Life ticket using Online Play through the lottery’s website. His ticket matched all five white balls in Sunday’s drawing.
“We had a great Halloween,” said Gioulis. “The kids were coming to the house and I said, ‘What the heck, let me play the numbers.’”
Winners of the game’s second-tier prize are guaranteed $25,000 a Year for Life. The winner can also choose to claim the prize as a lump sum of $390,000. Gioulis chose the lump sum. After federal and state tax withholdings, he took home $275,926.
Gioulis, who is of Greek descent, was already planning to take a family trip to Greece next spring following his daughter’s college graduation. Now, after his big win, he said he will expand the trip to include visits to Albania and Italy to introduce his children to their Mediterranean heritage for the first time.
“We’re definitely Mediterranean and the kids have been dying to go,” said Gioulis. “This will be my chance to give them the grand tour! We’re going to go and enjoy life.”
Gioulis said he also plans on putting the bulk of his winnings towards retirement savings, as well as donating some to charity.
Lucky for Life has 10 ways to win a prize, and drawings are held every night. The top prize is $1,000 a day for the rest of your life.
Lucky for Life is one of four lottery games in North Carolina where players have the option of buying their tickets through Online Play either through the lottery’s website or with the NC Lottery Official Mobile App.
Ticket sales from draw games make it possible for the lottery to raise more than $900 million a year for education. For details on how $60.5 million raised by the lottery made a difference in Mecklenburg County in 2020, visit www.nclottery.com and click on the “Impact” section.