Just two days before Thanksgiving, William Ratliff won $100,000 instantly. His good luck started after buying a $5 Greetings of Gold ticket at the Melton Brothers Store on N.C. 742 South in Wadesboro.

When he scratched and revealed the $100,000 top prize, Ratliff said he sat in his truck in a state of disbelief. The Wadesboro man called his dad to share the good news.

“He called me screaming,” said Ratliff’s father, Bill. “I couldn’t really believe it.”

Ratliff, who works in the logging industry, said he’ll use his after-tax winnings of $68,001 to repair his car and maybe buy some property. He is the first player to win $100,000 playing Greetings of Gold, which started Oct. 9 with four top prizes.

Ticket sales have enabled the lottery to raise more than $2.58 billion for education initiatives statewide. Since the lottery began through June 30, 2012, Anson County education programs received more than $7.5 million in lottery funds. By law, those funds pay for teachers’ salaries in grades K-3, school construction, prekindergarten programs for at-risk four-year-olds, and need-based college scholarships and financial aid.