STATE: Gastonia man wins $1 million: ‘You never know what’s around the corner’

Published 9:54 am Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

RALEIGH – Ronnie Woods of Gastonia made a last-minute decision to buy a $10 scratch-off and won the first $1 million prize in a new lottery game.

“I was going to walk out the door but something told me to just go ahead and get it,” he said.

Woods, a 66-year-old former member of the Navy and Marine Corps, bought his lucky 50X The Cash ticket from Save Mart on Union Road in Gastonia.

“You never know what’s around the corner,” he said. “I just want to live in peace and enjoy life.”

Woods said he called his son after he won to tell him the good news.

“I asked him, ‘What would you say if I told you I won a million dollars?’” Woods recalled. “He said, ‘That’s a good joke.’ So I took a picture and sent it to him.”

When Woods arrived at lottery headquarters Tuesday, he had a decision to make. He could choose to receive his prize as an annuity of $50,000 over 20 years or a lump sum of $600,000. He chose the lump-sum amount of $600,000 and, after required state and federal tax withholdings, took home $427,503.

Woods said he will use his winnings to pay off his mortgage and do some home renovations.

The 50X The Cash game debuted this week with six top prizes of $1 million. Five $1 million prizes remain to be claimed.

Ticket sales from scratch-off games make it possible for the lottery to raise $2.5 million a day on average for education. For details on how $14.9 million raised by the lottery made a difference in Gaston County last year, visit and click on the “Impact” section.