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“I’m the happiest guy on this side of the Mississippi,” Salisbury man says of $200,000 win

Malik Ford of Salisbury said an “ordinary day turned extraordinary” after he played the Carolina Panthers scratch-off game and won $200,000.

The recent college grad’s good luck happened when he stopped by the Speedway on East Innes Street in Salisbury and bought the $5 ticket.

“I was just doing my normal thing like everyone else,” Ford said. “I stopped to pick up a few things and decided on the spur of the moment to get a scratch-off ticket.”

He scratched the ticket when he got home.

“I had to look at it twice,” Ford said. “I’m the happiest guy on this side of the Mississippi.”

He claimed the prize Tuesday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh. After required state and federal tax withholdings, he took home $141,003. He plans to invest some of the money and use the rest to help cover living expenses.

“I’m going to be practical,” Ford said. “I figure I can get about five years’ worth of groceries out of this.”

The Carolina Panthers ticket launched in August with five top prizes of $200,000. One top prize remains.

All Carolina Panthers tickets can also be entered into the two remaining second-chance drawings for VIP experiences at a Panthers game. Players have the chance to win a luxury suite for all home games in the 2019 football season or a behind-the-scenes game experience at the Nov. 25 game when the Panthers play the Seattle Seahawks.

Ticket sales from games like Carolina Panthers make it possible for the lottery to raise more than $650 million a year for education. For details on how lottery funds have made a difference in all of North Carolina’s 100 counties, click on the “Impact” section of the lottery’s website.