RALEIGH – The community of Horse Shoe, population 2,351, has lived up to its lucky namesake for Ivan Gilbert, a self-employed painter and two-time big lottery winner. His good luck began back in May 2012 when he scratched off a $100,000 top prize in the Super Lucky 7’s game. It continued this week as he purchased a $120 Million Cash scratch-off ticket that was worth $1 million.
“The first time I won was great,” Gilbert said as he collected his latest prize on Tuesday afternoon. “That helped stabilize our lives. This one will help us purchase a home. We’ve been dreaming of this for years. This feels really good.”
Gilbert scratched off the lucky $20 ticket while pumping gas at the Corner Pantry on Howard Gap Road in Hendersonville on Sunday.
“I was standing there looking at it,” Gilbert said. “I called my wife and started crying. It’s just amazing. I never thought I’d win the first time, now here I am again. This really helps make life easier.”
Winners of $1 million in the game have the option of claiming it in $50,000 payments as a 20-year annuity or a one-time lump sum of $600,000. Gilbert took the cash payment and received a check for $415,206 after state and federal taxes were withheld.
Gilbert is the fourth player to win a $1 million prize in the game. As of Wednesday morning, one $3 million top prize, two $1 million prizes and two $100,000 prizes remain to be claimed.
Ticket sales have made it possible for the lottery to raise more than $3.4 billion for the state. Net proceeds are used for prekindergarten programs for at-risk four-year-olds, teachers’ salaries in grades K-3, school construction, digital learning initiatives, need-based college scholarships and financial aid.
For details on how more than $23 million in lottery funds have made a difference in Henderson County, click on the “Where the Money Goes” tab on the lottery’s website.