First Instinct Pays Off For Chicago Resident Wins $2,500 A Week For Life Illinois Lottery Prize

For Immediate Release Contact: Karina Rosado 312-368-5831

Chicago, IL — November 27, 2013 — When Okpara Smith was out running errands he saw a $2,500 A Week for Life lottery ticket and his instinct told him to buy it. "It was the first ticket I saw so I followed my instinct and bought it. I never imagined I would win the top prize!" The lucky Chicago resident won $2,500 a week for 20 years.

After purchasing the ticket, Smith sat in his car to scratch it. "I kept blinking and looking at the ticket to make sure my vision wasn’t blurred." Smith said he forgot about his errands and immediately rushed to the Illinois Lottery Prize Center in Chicago to present his winning ticket. "When they confirmed I won, all I could think of was that now I would be able to pay off my parents’ mortgage. My dad is retired and they could really use my help."

Smith, 30, is a single parent with three daughters. Additional plans for the windfall include buying a larger house and investing for his children. “This win is a blessing for all of us,” said Smith, who chose to take his prize as the cash option of $1,940,000 ($1,358,000 after required withholding).

The winning ticket was purchased at Montrose BP, 6350 West Montrose, in Chicago. For selling the winning ticket, Montrose BP will receive a bonus of $19,400 equal to 1 percent of the prize amount. When asked if he had advice for other lottery players, Smith said, "Go with your first instinct!"

$2,500 A Week for Life is a $5 instant ticket with a top prize of $2,500 a week for 20 years. There are still three top prizes available to be won on this game. For more information, please visit


About Illinois Lottery

Founded in 1974, the Illinois Lottery has contributed over $20 billion to the state’s Common School Fund to assist K-12 public schools, as well as hundreds of millions of dollars to the Capital Projects Fund and to special causes like Illinois Veterans, the fight against breast cancer, MS research, and assistance for people living with HIV/AIDS. In addition to playing in-store, the Illinois Lottery offers online and mobile play for Mega Millions, Powerball and Lotto at Players must be at least 18 years old.