A 49-year-old North Carolina dump truck driver fell into good luck last week after unintentionally purchasing two identical Lucky for Life lottery tickets that both hit the jackpot.
Scotty Thomas said he was lying in bed watching a basketball game in his Fayetteville, N.C., home and couldn’t recall if he’s already filled out his $2 online ticket on his cell phone, so he punched in his numbers. The next day he got an email saying he’d won. According to Thomas, his son noticed that the email showed two different amounts.
“I realized, ‘I think I filled it out twice,’” he said. “When I realized I won, I had to lay down on the floor because I really just couldn’t believe it.”
NC Education reports that Thomas was informed Monday at lottery headquarters that he had several options in collecting his winnings. If he chose to do so, he could take both prizes as annuities, which would pay him $50,000 per year for the rest of his life. He also has the option of taking one prize as a lump sum of $399,000 and cash in the other ticket for $25,000 annually. He decided to cash in both tickets for lump sums and walked away with $780,000 before taxes. After paying Uncle Sam, he’ll clear $551, 851.
While Thomas surely has no complaints, he did not win the Lucky for Life grand prize, which pays $1,000 a day for life.