Woman facing homelessness wins $25K a year for life in Michigan Lottery

LANSING, Mich. – A woman wasn’t so “lucky” for periods in her life, but that changed in a big way in 2018.

Shawna Donnelly matched the five white balls drawn in the Lucky For Life drawing on January 15 in Michigan to win $25,000 a year for life. Donnelly, 50, told the Michigan Lottery that she had been facing homelessness.

“The last year has been the most difficult of my life,” Donnelly told the lottery that was shared in a press release. “I’ve been taking care of my mom full-time, and it’s hard to make ends meet."

Donnelly said the unexpected financial boost couldn't have come at a better time, and she almost couldn't believe it at first.

“I woke up in the middle of the night and had a feeling I should check my tickets,” said Donnelly. “When I saw I matched five numbers, I must have refreshed my phone 100 times to make sure I really won!"

Donnelly claimed her prize Monday in Lansing.

She chose to take her winnings in a one-time lump sum payment of $390,000 instead of annuity payments for 20 years or life, whichever is greater.

Donnelly told the lottery she plans to buy a new home and car and then save the rest.