A North Carolina man accidentally bought two lottery tickets with the same numbers — but the mistake paid off.
Scotty Thomas, a 49-year-old dump truck operator from Fayetteville, was in bed watching a basketball game when he couldn’t remember if he had already bought a “Lucky for Life” lottery ticket for the drawing on Saturday, Nov. 27, according to a news release from the North Carolina Education Lottery.
“I went ahead and filled it out again, and the next morning my son asked why there were two different amounts listed,” Thomas told lottery officials. “I realized, ‘I think I filled it out twice.’”
He purchased the two $2 lottery tickets online.
The two identical tickets ended up winning him two $25,000 a year for life prizes, the lottery said.
“When I realized I won, I had to lay down on the floor because I really just couldn’t believe it,” Thomas said, according to the lottery. “It’s just a blessing.”
Thomas picked up his prize on Monday, Nov. 29. He chose to take both prizes as lump sum payments for a total of $780,000, according to the lottery. He took home $551,851 after taxes.
He told lottery officials he plans to invest some of the money in his business and use some of it to pay off bills, help his family and maybe buy a house.
“Lucky for Life has a top prize of $1,000 a day for life,” the lottery said. “The second-biggest prize, $25,000 a year for life, is the prize that Thomas took home. Drawings are now held daily.”