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NC veteran hits lottery jackpot: ‘You never know what’s around the corner’

A pile of money. (Government Accountability Office)

A North Carolina Marine and Navy veteran was about to leave a store when something told him to buy a $10 scratch-off ticket, NC lottery officials said Wednesday.

His hunch paid off, landing him the first $1 million prize in the new 50X the Cash scratch-off game, according to a lottery news release.

Gastonia resident Ronnie Woods beat odds of 1 in 1.729 million, according to the 50X the Cash game page on Five top prizes remain in the game.

Woods bought the ticket at Save Mart on Union Road in Gastonia on Tuesday, the day the game debuted.

“I was going to walk out the door, but something told me to just go ahead and get it,” the 66-year-old said when he claimed his prize at lottery headquarters in Raleigh the same day.

Woods said his son didn’t believe him when he called him and asked, “What would you say if I told you I won a million dollars?”

“‘That’s a good joke,’” he said his son replied.

Woods said his son finally believed him when he took a picture of the ticket and sent the photo to him.

Woods could have taken the prize as a $50,000 annuity over 20 years, but he chose the $600,000 lump sum option, according to the lottery.

After taxes, he took home $427,503, officials said.

Woods said he will pay off his mortgage and renovate his home with the money.

“You never know what’s around the corner,” he said. “I just want to live in peace and enjoy life.”


© 2023 The Charlotte Observer

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