‘I just about had a heart attack.’ Then NC lottery player woke his wife with good news

A North Carolina lottery player almost had a heart attack — then woke his wife with good news.

Matthew Shipley told his wife he scored a prize worth $25,000 each year for the rest of his life. Now Shipley — an avid camper from Newton — is excited to tackle his next adventure.

“We have been camping all over,” he told the N.C. Education Lottery in an Oct. 3 news release. “We bought a camper and now we can pay it off.”

Shipley got richer playing the Lucky for Life game. He bought his $2 ticket online and later discovered it matched enough numbers to win big in the Sept. 28 drawing, officials said.

“I just about had a heart attack,” Shipley told lottery officials as he laughed. “Then I woke my wife up to tell her we won.”

Instead of claiming the prize of $25,000 a year, Shipley reportedly decided to take the money in a lump sum of $390,000. His winnings totaled $277,896 after taxes.

Shipley, who beat 1-in-1.8 million odds to get the windfall, plans to put his prize money toward more than just his new camper. He also hopes to finish his mortgage payments and add to his retirement savings, officials said.

Newton is in Catawba County and roughly 40 miles northwest of Charlotte.

It’s not the first time someone has woken up to news of a lucky prize. In June, another North Carolina lottery player found out he hit the jackpot and raced to tell his sleeping mom, McClatchy News reported.

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