RALEIGH – Larry Holmes, a textile worker from Grover, is the third player to win the top prize in the $1,000 a Week for Life! game. He plans to use his winnings to purchase a new truck and save for retirement.

Holmes purchased the lucky $2 ticket, which beat odds of 1 in 4.8 million, at Lowery’s Country Corner on South Post Road in Shelby.

“I scratched it off at home and just started hollering and jumping for joy,” Holmes said as he collected his winnings on Thursday. “I never thought I’d win something like this. I feel fantastic. I’m going to grin all the way to the bank.”

The game’s top prize guarantees winners an annual prize of $52,000 for the rest of their lives. The winner can also choose a lump sum cash prize, worth $708,000, instead of the annuity.

Holmes chose the lump sum option and received a check for $489,936 after state and federal taxes were withheld. He said he plans to use a portion of the winnings to help his children.

“I play the lottery because it helps education,” Holmes said. “I play for the fun of it, but I may not play at all if I didn’t know the money was going to help the kids.”

Ticket sales have made it possible for the lottery to raise more than $3.19 billion for education programs statewide. For details on how more than $34.7 million in lottery funds have made a difference in Cleveland County, click on the “Where the Money Goes” tab on the lottery’s website.