REGIONAL: Gaston County woman scratched a lucky number and won $1 million

Published 11:26 am Monday, July 10, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

RALEIGH – When Dawn Collis of Gastonia started scratching her Jumbo Bucks lottery ticket, she reached her lucky number, scratched it off, and uncovered a $1 million prize.

“It was the No. 23,” Collis said. “That’s our lucky number. We were married on July 23.”

Collis said her daughter and son-in-law came in to town to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday so her husband bought scratch-offs for her family to enjoy together.

“We like to all scratch together for entertainment,” she said.

The lucky $10 Jumbo Bucks ticket came from S&D Food Mart on East Garrison Boulevard in Gastonia. Collis won the first $1 million top prize in the new game.

“I had always envisioned winning big,” Collis said. “It was still a little bit of shock and disbelief.”

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

“It still feels a little bit surreal,” she said.

Collis said she planned to save most of the money but might use some to take a trip.

Jumbo Bucks debuted in June with seven $1 million prizes. Six $1 million prizes remain to be claimed.

Ticket sales from scratch-off games make it possible for the lottery to raise more than $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.