• 63°

REGIONAL: Gaston County man ‘couldn’t believe’ he won $1 million prize

When Dewey Smith of Belmont scratched off his 50X The Cash ticket and saw a $1 million prize, he couldn’t believe his eyes.

“I couldn’t believe it to start with,” he recalled. “I kept looking at it and kept looking at it and then I ran it through the scanner and then I knew it was real.”

Smith purchased his winning $10 ticket from the Kingsway on Market Street in Cramerton.

“I’m really excited,” he said as he claimed his prize Thursday at lottery headquarters. “I just couldn’t believe it.”

Smith had the choice of taking the $1 million as an annuity of 20 payments of $50,000 a year or a lump sum of $600,000. He opted for the lump sum and took home $424,503 after required state and federal tax withholdings.

The 50X The Cash game launched in February with six top prizes of $1 million. Three remain to be won.

Ticket sales from scratch-offs like 50X The Cash make it possible for the lottery to raise more than $725 million a year for education. For details on how $13.4 million raised by the lottery made a difference in Gaston County last year, visit www.nclottery.com and click on the “Impact” section.