PORTAGE, Mich. (AP) — Someone is betting $40,026 on the life of a 73-year-old lottery winner in Michigan.

That was the highest bid Thursday in an online auction for a lottery prize that pays $1,000 a month, before taxes. But here’s the hitch: The money is paid only for as long as Donald Magett stays alive.

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The Portage man won the “Cash for Life” game in 1984, although the winnings lately have been going to bankruptcy trustee Tom Richardson to pay Magett’s debts.

Richardson auctioned the lottery prize to close the bankruptcy case. The auction house, repocast.com, says the top bid was $40,026. At that price, Magett would need to live a few more years for the winner to at least break even.

The winner’s name was not released. Magett declined to comment.

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Duane Mingerink –, president of Repocast.com in Byron Center, Michigan, which is handling the auction — said that the entire situation is just one big gamble.

“Basically, when you look at it, it’s a little big like gambling,” Mingerink told WWJ Newsradio 950’s Beth Fisher. “You know, the man could live a month, he could live 20 years! I mean, that’s the mystery behind it all.”


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