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Retired Marine is using NC lottery prize to help others. ‘It’s been a hard year’

Marine Flag (Jagz Mario/Flickr)

A retired Marine won big in the lottery — and hopes to “pay it forward” in Eastern North Carolina.

Christi Davis, a New Bern resident, said she plans to share some of her $500,000 prize with others in her community, according to the N.C. Education Lottery.

“It’s been a hard year for everyone,” Davis told lottery officials. “We want to pay it forward to some people and some organizations around town.”

Since March 2020, many North Carolina residents have experienced financial hardships as businesses made adjustments to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The state has reported more than 11,000 coronavirus-related deaths and 858,000 infections within the past year.

During this turbulent time, Davis had a stroke of luck in the Powerball game. Officials said she went online to spend $3 on a Power Play ticket for the Feb. 20 drawing.

It turns out, that ticket matched enough numbers to beat nearly 1-in-a-million odds, according to the N.C. Education Lottery.

Davis, a retired master sergeant who was in the military for more than two decades, kept $353,751 after taxes. In addition to helping others, Davis said she wanted to take a family vacation.

It’s not the first time someone who served in the U.S. Marine Corps got a big windfall in North Carolina.

One Marine veteran was on a trip when he discovered a lottery ticket in his backpack was worth $1 million, McClatchy News reported in November.

That same month, the lottery said a retired Marine planned to use his $10 million prize to help those in need.

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