Forgetful player buys 2nd lottery ticket, wins two North Carolina jackpots

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — A North Carolina man suffered a temporary memory lapse recently that netted him more than half a million dollars.

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Scotty Thomas, a 49-year-old dump truck operator from Fayetteville, said that he was watching basketball in bed when he realized he could not remember if he had bought a ticket for the state’s Lucky for Life lottery drawing.

“I went ahead and filled it out again, and the next morning my son asked why there were two different amounts listed. I realized, ‘I think I filled it out twice,’” Thomas stated in a news release issued by North Carolina’s education lottery.

As luck would have it, Thomas did, in fact, play the same numbers twice, meaning he won $25,000 each year for life in the Nov. 27 drawing, Fox Business reported.

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According to the lottery, Thomas’ prize is the second-largest in Lucky for Life’s structure, trailing only the lottery’s $1,000-a-day-for-life payout, CNN reported.

“When I realized I won, I had to lay down on the floor because I really just couldn’t believe it. It’s just a blessing,” Thomas stated.

Then came the hard part: deciding which payout option to select.

According to the lottery, Thomas could:

  • Claim the annual prize for each ticket and collect $50,000 annually for the rest of his life.
  • Take the lump sum option, which amounts to roughly $390,000 per ticket.
  • Claim one ticket’s yearly prize and take the lump sum for the other ticket.

Thomas opted to claim the lump sum for both tickets, meaning he will collect slightly less than $552,000 after taxes, Fox Business reported.

Thomas confirmed in the news release that he plans to use his winnings to pay off some bills, invest in his business and buy a house.