There are some happy accidents we all experience in life. Finding a shortcut to get to work faster after making a wrong turn... finding a coupon in your junk mail for your favorite restaurant, or even scoring a $5 bill from an old jacket pocket.

But perhaps it's this Cedar Rapids couple that had the happiest of accidents... ever. They're got finding 5's in any jacket pockets, they'll be finding $25,000 each year for the rest of their lives.

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Chuck and Sherry Thomas will be picking up the tab at family and friend outings for decades to come as they are the latest winners in the Iowa Lottery's "Lucky for Life" game, which gives players a chance to win payouts for the remainder of their life.

What's even better, according to an Iowa Lottery press release, Chuck, who bought the ticket, did so somewhat accidentally. Chuck Thomas told the Iowa Lottery that he bought his ticket on a Wednesday, thinking it was for the Thursday "Lucky for Life" drawing. So while he intended to play "Lucky for Life", he thought the numbers would be drawn 24 hours later.

What he did not realize at the time was that "Lucky for Life" was played daily, and so his ticket was for that night's drawing aaaand, he matched the first five numbers, missing only the sixth ball, which is known as the Lucky Ball.

It did not take long before he and his wife figured out that this accident was a happy accident. A very, VERY happy accident!

If this story sounds vaguely familiar, it's because we reported last year that Iowa Lottery officials were looking for the Cedar Rapids winner of the $25,000 for life ticket from a November 4th, 2021 drawing that had not come forward. Chuck had until November 4th, 2022 to claim his prize. Mission accomplished!

Chuck and Sherry Thomas via the Iowa Lottery
Chuck and Sherry Thomas via the Iowa Lottery
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Chuck and Sherry Thomas waited for several months to step forward knowing they had a full year because they wanted to make sure they had a plan in place for how to handle the money before claiming the prize.

Believe it or not, the game's top prize is even more valuable, by matching the first five numbers, like Chuck did, plus the Lucky Ball scores the player a prize of $1,000 a day!

The Thomas family's win is the 13th win by Iowa players in the "Lucky for Life" game since it debuted in January 2016 in the state, according to the press release. Each "Lucky for Life" costs $2 to purchase.

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