RALEIGH, N.C. — Paul Caudill of Winston-Salem used his family’s birthday numbers in a Lucky for Life drawing on Friday and it paid off with a $25,000 a year for life prize.

“I’ve been playing the same numbers every day since the game started,” he said. “The numbers are all different birthdays for people in my family.”

Caudill said he thought there might be a mistake when he first saw he won.

“I figured there must be an error,” he laughed. “I couldn’t sleep the rest of the night.”

He bought his lucky $2 ticket from 1 Stop on West Mountain Street in Kernersville. He won his prize by matching all five white balls in last Friday’s drawing.

Caudill became one of two players in North Carolina who matched all five white balls in the drawing. The other ticket came from Charlie’s Tobacco Outlet on Eastchester Drive in High Point.

After recently retiring, Caudill said he already knows what he wants to do with his winnings.

“I can pay my house off now,” he said.

Caudill claimed his prize Monday and had the choice of receiving $25,000 a year for the rest of his life or a $390,000 lump sum. He chose the $390,000 lump sum and, after required state and federal tax withholdings, took home $277,879.

Lucky for Life is one of six lottery games in North Carolina where players have the option of buying their tickets through a retail location or Online Play. Lucky for Life drawings are held every night. The odds of winning the $25,000 a year for life prize are 1 in 1.8 million.

Ticket sales from draw games make it possible for the lottery to raise more than $2.5 million a day for education. For details on how $21.8 million raised by the lottery made a difference in Forsyth County last year, visit www.nclottery.com and click on the “Impact” section.