A man in North Carolina accidentally bought a pair of identical tickets for the same lottery drawing and won two prizes of $25,000 a year for the rest of his life.
Forty-nine-year-old Scotty Thomas of Fayetteville told the North Carolina Education Lottery he was thinking about the Lucky for Life drawing but could not remember if he had already purchased a ticket, UPI reported Wednesday.
“I was just laying in bed watching a basketball game on TV and I couldn’t remember if I filled it out or not,” Thomas, who is a dump truck operator, stated.
“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,'” he added.
Man accidentally buys two identical lottery tickets, wins two jackpots https://t.co/SE97OFGKdn
— Odd News from @UPI (@OddNewsUPI) December 1, 2021
According to the lottery’s website, he got two emails because he bought the tickets through the lottery’s Online Play program on his phone.
Winners are notified by email when they win.
“When I realized I won, I had to lay down on the floor because I really just couldn’t believe it,” Thomas recalled. “It’s just a blessing.”
However, when he got to lottery headquarters to collect his big winnings, he had one decision to make.
“At age 49, he could take both prizes as annuities, receiving a total of $50,000 every year for the rest of his life. He could take one prize as an annuity – $25,000 a year for life – and the second as a lump sum of $390,000. Or, he could take both as lump-sum prizes of $390,000 each,” the lottery’s website read.
He chose to take both prizes in lump sum payments which was $780,000, because he plans to invest in his business, pay off several bills, help his family members, and maybe buy a home.
After federal and state tax withholdings, he walked away with $551,851.
Social media users congratulated Thomas on his big win, one person writing, “Att’a boy, lighting does strike twice in one place!”
“The best accident of his life! Congratulations,” another user commented.