Posted on: December 7, 2021, 03:14h. 

Last updated on: December 7, 2021, 03:25h.

Most people can only dream about winning the lottery. For one extraordinarily lucky man in North Carolina, he struck it rich in the lottery not once, but twice. And it happened in a single day.

North Carolina Lottery jackpot
A very happy Scotty Thomas smiles for a photograph after winning more than three quarters of a million dollars during a November “Lucky for Life” lottery draw. The North Carolina man purchased two identical tickets, and both won big. (Image: 9News)

The North Carolina Education Lottery reveals that 49-year-old Scotty Thomas of Fayetteville struck gold by winning two “Lucky for Life” prizes during the game’s Saturday, November 27 draw. Thomas, a dump truck operator by day, said he accidentally purchased two tickets with the same numbers.

I was just lying in bed watching a basketball game on television and I couldn’t remember if I filled it out or not,” Thomas explained of buying two “Lucky for Life” tickets and choosing the identical numbers.

Thomas matched all five regular numbers — 2-6-7-11-19 — on both tickets. Each received an award of $25,000 per year for life, or a one-time lump sum cash option worth $390,000 each.

Thomas opted for the lump sum on both tickets for a total haul of $780,000. After federal and state taxes, he took home $551,851. Thomas says he plans to pay off some debt, invest in his dump truck business, and possibly buy a house. He did not reveal if there’s any meaning behind the five numbers he played.

Lengthy Odds

Thomas is indeed “Lucky for Life.” But the odds were heavily stacked against him finding such immense luck.

The North Carolina Education Lottery explains that each “Lucky for Life” ticket costs $2. Players choose five numbers between 1 to 48, plus a Lucky Ball number from 1 to 18.

Thomas hit the game’s second-best prize twice. The odds of matching all five regular “Lucky for Life” balls are a lengthy 1 in 1,813,028.

The lottery explains that “for life” means an annual prize guaranteed for a minimum of 20 years, or upon the death of the original ticketholder, whichever is longer. If Thomas would die before 2041, his estate would have continued to receive the annual $25,000 per ticket through 2041 totaling $500,000 — or $1 million total. Of course, those numbers are before taxes are factored in.

The North Carolina Education Lottery began its operations in March of 2006 following the passage of the North Carolina State Lottery Act. The lottery directly benefits state education.

In 2020 alone, more than $385 million in lottery revenue was used to support both public and charter schools in a variety of ways. Those include new construction, teacher and staff salaries, and college scholarships and grants.

Loose NC Lottery

Scotty Thomas isn’t the only person who has recently found a vast amount of fortune in North Carolina. A Florida woman visiting North Carolina to tend to her son who was hospitalized with an unknown ailment reported buying a $5 Cash 5 Quick Pick ticket last week that won $167,635.

“I put that five bucks to good use,” winner Donna Reed said in a release from the lottery.

The odds of winning the Cash 5 jackpot are 1 in 962,598. The jackpot rolls over when no ticket matches all five balls drawn.



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