‘It’s kind of surreal.’ Charlotte woman hits big NC lottery jackpot thanks to a friend

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In a gift that kept on giving, a Charlotte woman hit a $2 million North Carolina lottery jackpot after receiving a scratch-off ticket as a present from a family friend.

“I could not believe it, honestly. You read it and you don’t believe it,” Karen Urtecho Sandrez said of the moment she realized she’d won, according to a North Carolina Education Lottery news release.

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Urtecho Sandrez’s friend purchased the $20 100X the Cash ticket at Lucia Food Mart in Stanley, about 20 miles northwest of Charlotte in Gaston County, lottery officials said.

She had the option to receive either $100,000 a year for 20 years, or $1.2 million as a lump sum. She picked the lump sum, bringing home $849,006 after federal and state taxes.

“It’s kind of surreal,” Urtecho Sandrez told officials as she claimed her winnings last Thursday in Raleigh.

It’s the second time a Charlotte-area resident has won the top prize in the 100X the Cash game this year.

In January, Christopher Martin of Newton won $2 million with a ticket bought at Lake Norman Grocery in Mooresville, according to the lottery. Like Urtecho Sandrez, Martin also chose to take the $1.2 million one-time payout, the Observer reported.

Both beat odds of 1 in 3.03 million, according the N.C. Education Lottery website.

The 100X the Cash game debuted in December with 10 top prizes. Four remain, according to the lottery website.

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