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Washington Lottery has its first Lucky for Life winner

Jul 11, 2005, 11:06 am

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Washington Lottery

Rauf Nayemi had to doublecheck his "Lucky for Life" scratch card at the Washington State Lottery office. He couldn't believe he'd really won $52,000 a year for life.

Nayemi, 40, an immigrant from Afghanistan, is the first "Lucky for Life" winner since the game was changed from a drawing to scratch tickets on April 27.

He'll get $39,000 a year after federal taxes, said Liz Anderson, the lottery's communications manager.

"Today is the most exciting day for me," Nayemi said Friday at the lottery office.

Nayemi said his first reaction was to call his mother in Lacey, but he told her the win was not yet official.

He called her back after officials verified the ticket.

Nayemi says he plans to pay for his 13-year-old daughter's braces and pay off his house.

He'll be able to help relatives in Afghanistan, too, if they need it.

"If you have $10 to share with someone, you would share it," he said. "I want to help my family."

Nayemi moved to the United States 22 years ago when the Soviet Union was invading his homeland.

Now single, he also hopes his good luck will help him socially.

"So, if I ask any woman out now, is she going to say yes?" he asked with a grin.

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