REGIONAL – Union County woman says $4 million prize is a ‘dream come true’

Published 2:51 pm Monday, February 1, 2021

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

RALEIGH – For Cheryl Ratliff of Wingate, winning a $4 million top prize on a $10,000 Loaded scratch-off fulfilled a life-long dream and will help set her family up for the future.

“I felt real good about that,” she said of her big win. “To me, that’s a blessing. It’s a dream come true.”

Ratliff purchased her winning $20 ticket from Claws on North Charlotte Avenue in Monroe.

“I got to work and I scratched it off and my eyes went completely cuckoo, I thought I was seeing things,” she recalled, laughing. “I literally went outside and called my husband, called my kids. I was crying, I didn’t believe I won that much money.”

Ratliff claimed her prize Friday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh.

She had a choice of taking the $4 million as an annuity of $200,000 a year over 20 years or a lump sum of $2.4 million. She chose the annuity and, after state and federal tax withholdings, walked away with her first payment of $141,506.

“It’s a blessing to see that dream come true that one day you’d hit it like that,” said Ratliff. “I can see my kids having more things in life and helping them through college.”

The $10,000 Loaded game started in October 2019 with three top prizes of $4 million and three $100,000 prizes. Ratliff won the final top prize, so the lottery will begin steps to end the game.

Ticket sales from scratch-offs make it possible for the lottery to raise more than $725 million a year for education. For details on how lottery funds have helped all of North Carolina’s 100 counties, click on the “Impact” section of the lottery’s website.