Last minute decision to buy a third ticket earns NC man $1 million from scratch-off lottery game

Gut feeling? Pure instinct? Whatever it was, it helped the lucky winner score big-time

By Kate Northrop

A North Carolina man must be feeling really good about his intuition right about now — his decision to head back into the store to buy a third scratch-off lottery ticket earned him a $1 million prize.

In early May, Larry Parks of Valdese purchased two $10,000,000 Colossal Cash scratch-off tickets for $30 each at Mel’s Superette in Hickory. Parks left the store, but for some reason, he decided to go back in to buy one more. That third ticket turned out to be worth $1 million.

The maintenance mechanic originally assumed that buying those tickets would be enough to win back the amount he paid for the tickets. Expecting to reveal a $30 reward after scratching off a lottery ticket, he was not anticipating uncovering a $1 million prize.

On Wednesday, Parks claimed his prize at the lottery headquarters in Raleigh. He decided on taking the lump sum payout of $600,000 over the $1 million as an annuity of $50,000 over 20 years. After federal and state taxes, he received $424,509. He plans on buying a new home and then saving the rest.

“I was just in the right place,” he told the N.C. Education Lottery. “Something told me to go in and buy another one. If I hadn’t, someone else would be sitting where I’m sitting right now, so I’m thankful for that.”

After Parks’ win, four of the sixteen $1 million prizes offered in the $10,000,000 Colossal Cash game have yet to be won. The game also offers four top prizes of $10 million, two of which have been claimed.

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