Tommy Smith, a retired IT worker from Marshville, said his $200,000 Extreme Green win will help him pay off some bills and take a vacation.
Smith said he had left the ticket unscratched on his nightstand for almost a week after buying it recently at the Kangaroo Express on Morgan Mill Road in Monroe. He said when he finally scratched off the ticket he had a hard time believing all the zeros he saw.
“I just kept looking at it,” Smith said. “In my mind, I knew it was a winner, but I thought this could not be because it was so much money.”
Smith collected $136,001 after state and federal taxes were withheld. Only one more of the original 12 top prizes remain to be claimed in the game as of Tuesday morning.
Since the lottery began through June 30, 2011, Union County education programs received more than $43.9 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, need-based college scholarships and financial aid.
To date, the N.C. Education Lottery has raised more than $2.45 billion for these initiatives statewide.