Man receives double the winnings after accidentally playing same numbers twice in lottery
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (Gray News) – An accidental duplicate purchase turned out to be a blessing for a man in North Carolina.
Scotty Thomas bought two identical Lucky for Life lottery tickets in Saturday’s drawing, according to the North Carolina Education Lottery.
“I was just laying in bed watching a basketball game on TV and I couldn’t remember if I filled it out or not,” said Thomas, a 49-year-old dump truck operator. “I went ahead and filled it out again and the next morning my son asked why there were two different amounts listed. I realized, ‘I think I filled it out twice.’”
Turns out that “mistake” turned into double winnings.
Thomas received two emails letting him know of each winning ticket.
“When I realized I won, I had to lay down on the floor because I really just couldn’t believe it,” Thomas said. “It’s just a blessing.”
He was faced with several options to collect his winnings when he arrived at lottery headquarters Monday.
Thomas could take both prizes as annuities, receiving $50,000 every year for the rest of his life.
He could take one prize annuity of $25,000 a year for the rest of his life; and the second as a lump sum of $390,000.
Or, he could take both as lump-sum prizes, a $780,000 total.
According to the NCEL, Thomas decided to take both prizes as lump-sum payments so he could invest in his business, pay off some bills, help his family and possibly buy a house.
Ultimately, he took home $551,851 after the required federal and state tax withholdings.
Lucky for Life is one of four lottery games in North Carolina where players have the option of buying their tickets through Online Play either through the lottery’s website or with the NC Lottery Official Mobile App.
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