A World War II veteran receiving the birthday present of a lifetime when he won $300,000 in the Michigan Lottery.
Ervin Smolinski’s daughter-in-law bought the winning ticket and gave it to the 94-year-old on his birthday. He said getting the ticket is part of an inside joke with his family.
“Every month, I buy some instant tickets and send them as gifts to family members who have birthdays that month,” Smolinski reportedly said. “It’s turned into a bit of a tradition, and now everyone sends me scratch offs and chocolate for my birthday.”
The South Branch veteran said he had four Double Bonus Cashword tickets and the big winner was the first one he scratched off.
“I’ve seen a lot in my life, and I don’t get worked up easily. I think my son-in-law was more worked up than I was,” Smoliski said of his reaction to the winner.
The 94-year-old said winning the $300,000 won’t change much of his lifestyle.
“I’m pretty frugal, I always shop sales and take care of my money and that won’t change,” he said. “The only thing that will change is I won’t have as much stress in my life worrying about money.”