Second chances are a common theme in 65-year-old North Carolinian Joe Mathews’ life.
He found them on the street of Detroit as a child, in his home in North Carolina and when he started his family, which consists of his wife and eight children, he told lottery officials in a June 10 news release.
His latest second chance fit in his pocket.
Mathews, who lives in Raleigh, won the $1 million jackpot in the lottery’s 200X The Cash second-chance drawing, according to lottery officials. He was one of 1.3 million entries in the game.
“I have had second chances in my life and I’m still getting blessed from them,” Mathews told lottery officials. “I’ve gone from the streets to being blessed with a wife, a family, and a home.”
Mathews joined the U.S. Army after growing up in a rough neighborhood in Detroit, he told lottery officials. It was one of the first blessings he was given in life, he added.
He served for 3 ½ years and moved to North Carolina, where he met his wife. Now, he works as a forklift driver and supports their seven daughters and one son, lottery officials said.
The winnings will help Mathews pay off his mortgage and bills and support his family, he told lottery officials. The second chance also came just in time for a big life event.
Mathew’s daughter will get married in Aruba in August, he told lottery officials, which he plans to help fund with the prize.
“This will take some stress off me,” Mathews said. “I’m just blessed. I’m just so happy now.”
Mathews had the option of collecting his prize in annual payments of $50,000 over 20 years or taking out a lump sum of $600,000. He chose to cash out the lump sum and took home $426,060 after taxes.
“I believe in second chance,” Mathews said. “I really do.”
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