$2 lottery ticket turns into big win for NC trucker. ‘First thing I did was smile’

N.C. Education Lottery

A North Carolina man spent $2 on a lottery ticket — and it turned into a big win.

Alton Bailey said he didn’t know how much his ticket was worth until he went to claim the prize at the N.C. Education Lottery headquarters in Raleigh.

“I really didn’t know how much I won until I got here,” he said in a Dec. 5 news release. “I was just hoping it was something great.”

It turns out, he scored a prize of $25,000 a year for life. Bailey, a longtime truck driver living in Wake County, said the news of the jackpot prize left him in disbelief.

“The first thing I did was smile,” Bailey told the N.C. Education Lottery. “Then I started sweating.”

Bailey snagged the recurring prize after he went to Riley Hill Mart in his hometown of Wendell, east of Raleigh. While at the convenience store, he spent $2 to try his luck on a ticket for the Lucky for Life game, officials said.

After his ticket matched enough numbers in the Nov. 30 drawing to win big, Bailey opted against taking his prize as a lump sum. Instead, he took the $25,000 per year option and kept $17,748 after taxes this year.

Bailey, who beat odds of more than 1 in 1.8 million, plans to put his prize money toward home repairs.

It’s not the first time a trucker has gotten lucky in the North Carolina lottery.

Last year, officials said a truck driver planned to help his mom after winning a $10 million prize.

More recently, another driver celebrating a big win was planning for a family vacation, McClatchy News reported.

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