A Connecticut woman's $1 graduation gift turned out to be more valuable than expected when the lottery ticket won her $2,000 a month for life.

Anissa Dellaripa, 22, of South Windsor, told Connecticut Lottery officials her dad bought her the $1 Win for Life ticket as a college graduation gift and she was shocked to discover she had won the top prize, $2,000 a month for life.

"My dad often buys me scratch tickets for fun," Dellaripa said. "He gave me this one and said, 'Here, scratch it.' The ticket cost only a dollar; he didn't really think anything of it. I went to my room, scratched the ticket, and couldn't believe it when I saw the 'WIN FOR LIFE' prize [symbol]. I thought he gave me a fake ticket as a joke, but I really won!"

Dellaripa decided to take the $2,000 per month payment option over the lump sum, which would have come to $400,000.

"It's a lot of money for me because I'm so young. I just graduated in June with an Associate's Degree. This [prize] will help me to go back to school for my Bachelor's Degree. It's a gift my father can leave me with for the rest of my life," she said.