"Win It All" scratch-off tickets. 

Christmas came a day early for a retired Aberdeen postal worker.

On Dec. 24, Lee Thomas bought a $10 scratch-off lottery ticket at Quality Mart on Old U.S. 1 in Southern Pines. He wound up winning $1 million.

“I couldn’t think at first,” Thomas recalled in a news release from the North Carolina Education Lottery, the state commission that oversees the games. “I felt like I couldn’t breathe. My wife thought I was having a heart attack when I called because I couldn’t talk.”

Thomas was the second player to claim a $1 million prize through “Win It All,” a scratch-off game that launched last year. The odds of winning one of the game’s top prizes are approximately one in 1.5 million, according to the lottery’s website.

Winners can redeem their loot in annual installments over 20 years or as a one-time payment of $600,000. Thomas went with the lump sum, traveling to the lottery’s headquarters in Raleigh on Monday to collect his winnings.

He netted $424,503 after automatic withholdings for state and federal taxes. Thomas said he plans to use part of the money to buy his wife a new car.

Thomas isn’t the only Moore County resident to hit pay dirt with a scratch-off ticket. Harry Veasey, a retired schoolteacher, won a $1 million prize after buying a $10 scratch-off ticket in August 2018 at Jay’s Food Mart in Aberdeen.

(4) comments

Conrad Meyer

Congrats to Mr. Thomas, surely a lucky guy.

Does anyone else think that the net amount of the $1 million prize is only $425,000? Does the government deserve 57% of the prize right off the top?

I believe it is extortion.

Kent Misegades

Well put. The lottery is a tax on the dumb. It sends the wrong message to young people, that the means to success is through gambling. Worse yet, it is run by the government exploiting children in government schools as the benefactor of other people’s losses.

Susan Swan


Libby Barnes

If you read closely the one time payment, rather than the 1 million over 20 years, is only 600K so the tax was on the 600K he chose. Don't know how the taxes would have been had he chosen the installments over 20 yrs.

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