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REGIONAL: Union County woman says $1 million prize ‘real handy’ for bills, retirement

RALEIGH – Saturday night fun playing the lottery paid off for Penny Edwards of Wingate when she found a $1 million prize on her scratch-off ticket.

Edwards said she and her husband enjoy playing the lottery together. When they buy tickets, they check the number of each ticket and she gets to scratch the odd-numbered tickets and he scratches the even-numbered ones. They bought two $30 Millionaire Maker tickets at the Xpress Mart on U.S. 74 East in Wingate and sat together in their car outside the store to play them.

“We had 14 and 15 so I scratched the 15 and it was boom,” Edwards said Monday as she collected her prize at lottery headquarters in Raleigh. “My eyes teared up. I must have been holding my breath because my husband said, ‘Breathe, Penny, breathe!’”

She had the option of taking the $1 million as an annuity of $50,000 a year over 20 years, or a lump sum of $600,000. Edwards chose the lump sum of $600,000 and took home $424,509 after required federal and state tax withholdings.

“It’s going to come in real handy,” said Edwards. “It is paying off bills and saving for retirement.”

Millionaire Maker is the first scratch-off to offer 30 $1 million prizes. Edwards became the 18th person to win one of those $1 million prizes.

Ticket sales from scratch-offs like Millionaire Maker make it possible for the lottery to raise more than $900 million per year for education. For details on how $15.8 million raised by the lottery made a difference in Union County in 2020, visit www.nclottery.com and click on the “Impact” section.